For the second Monday running, it’s nice to be able to start the week with some glowing match reports. What odds on a three-in-a-row in that department this day week? Well, I can tell you the answer to that because, once again, we’re priced as 2/1 outsiders by Paddy Power to beat Dublin, i.e the same odds that were available on us the last two times we squared up to the Jacks in semi-finals. But that’s next weekend’s fun.
Before diving into the papers, two quick points about yesterday. The first relates to the attendance at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, with the official count coming in at an embarrassingly low 2,012. We’ve nothing to be embarrassed about in this respect, though, as our supporters were clearly in the majority there yesterday and the rousing support the team received from the stand in that tense final quarter certainly didn’t do the lads out on the pitch any harm. Cork’s footballers are obviously well used by now to the pathetically low level of support they get – and a team of their quality surely deserves a far better following – but even they must have been surprised at the decibel levels reached by the vocal away support compared to the timid mewlings from their own lot when the fat was in the fire yesterday.
Secondly, a quick moan about the colours worn by the two teams yesterday. I’m colour-blind (as long-term followers of the site will know) and I found it almost impossible to tell the teams apart yesterday, especially when the action was on the other side of the pitch. The GAA has made good efforts in recent years to ensure that teams wear distinctively different jerseys but for some reason this policy hasn’t been extended to Mayo/Cork clashes. It needs to.
Right, on the papers and other online sources. Here they all are: Irish Independent, Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Mayo Advertiser, GAA.ie (worth it for the photo of an airborne Colm Boyle completing yet another intercept), RTÉ, The Score, Breaking News and Hogan Stand.
The Indo – which gives a deserved MOTM gong to Kevin McLoughlin – is the one that carries most post-match quotes from James who did little to hide his delight at the result and who acknowledged the support his team got from the stand:
We’re delighted, just delighted. It was tight and I’m sure it was exciting for the people who were watching too. You could hear it in the support today, you knew there was an extra pinch of spice in how the crowd were reacting, so we just kept plugging away, and getting the chance to play Dublin in a semi-final is just great.
In terms of how the team performed, James was honest about our shortcomings early on but reckoned that our improved showing shortly before the break was key to getting the result:
We were very sluggish in the first half and let Cork waltz through but for the last eight minutes (before half-time), that’s where we won the game, that’s what helped turn it around. We weren’t working hard enough early on, were missing tackles, but there was an unbelievable breeze and to have played as badly as we did for 20 minutes and still go in three points down, we were happy.
That’s all obviously true – Cork could and should have been far further ahead before we got motoring close to the half-hour mark but once we had worked out way back into the contest by half-time the task facing us in the second half wasn’t anything like as daunting as it could have been. I think James is right too about the impact of the conditions but it wasn’t just the breeze that put us on the back foot early on, as a succession of woefully misplaced passes – one from Aidan O’Shea that led directly to an Aidan Walsh point – gifted possession to them and put us under a lot more pressure than was necessary.
But the important thing is that, taking the afternoon as a whole, we did enough to win and now we’re in the mad position in this daft league structure of maybe going on to win the thing. Time for a poll? Last week, a majority correctly predicted that we’d retain our Division One status but only 21% felt we’d reach the semi-finals in doing so. Right then, how do you think the 2013 league campaign will pan out for us now?
How will our league campaign finish for us?
- A twelfth NFL title (46%, 82 Votes)
- Defeat to the Dubs (45%, 80 Votes)
- Defeat in the final (9%, 16 Votes)
Total Voters: 178