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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

John Cleary happy with Cork’s progress since loss to Clare

CORK pressed the refresh button in the aftermath of the one-point defeat by Clare in the quarter-final of the Munster championship.

“We took 10 days off before coming back and reviewing that match. We then put it to one side, tried to learn the lessons from it and tore into training in the last five weeks,” said manager John Cleary.

“We played Longford and Roscommon in challenge matches and they were beneficial. In the first couple of weeks, it wasn’t easy to get games as there was no one really to play because teams were still involved in their provincial championships.

“So, it was only in the last few weeks that we managed to get the games and in fairness, those kinds of games are always beneficial while also doing a lot of internal stuff ourselves.

“I’m happy with the progress and we’re itching to get going again. We were disappointed the last day against Clare, but it was just one of those things.

Without going back all over it again, halfway through the second half we looked in a reasonably good position only to get caught coming down the home straight.

“Hopefully we can just learn the lessons and put them into practice going forward in the All-Ireland series.” 

Cork don’t have a full deck from which to play their cards, but then again injuries will always be a factor at this time of year.

“Cathail O’Mahony is out for another while and our sub goalie Chris Kelly is also injured while Rory Maguire has a knock.

“Brian Hurley is back in training and should be available. Pa Doyle from Knocknagree is the other keeper in the panel,” Cleary added.

Louth will be no strangers to the Rebels in what will be a third meeting, once in 2022 and twice this season.

Like many, Cleary was surprised at Louth’s display in the Leinster final drubbing by Dublin, when conceding five goals.

“After 20 minutes it was 0-4 to 0-3 and everything looked to be going to plan. Dublin pushed up on their kick-out and managed to get 1-9 without reply and that was the game at that stage.


“Dublin are a big side who were very physical, broke a lot of ball around the middle of the field and got in on the breaks which was probably the winning and losing of the game.

“It was all over at half-time really though Louth kept plugging away and kicked 15 points. On another day they mightn’t have conceded those goals, which they hadn’t been doing. It was surprising in that regard.

“It remains to be seen if they’ll go back to type. 

Last year they were very defensive but were a bit more expansive when we played them earlier this season.

“And I thought they were even more expansive in the latter end of the league and the championship, but that Dublin game might change things.

“We’ll just have to wait and see. We don’t know, but we’ll concentrate on ourselves while, obviously, keeping an eye out on what they might do.”

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