‘Last year Limerick gave us a fair beating. I’m looking forward to that game now’

Barry-Murphy says Waterford games helped to sharpen up the team

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald reacts on the sideline. Photograph: Inpho/Cathal Noonan

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald reacts on the sideline. Photograph: Inpho/Cathal Noonan

 

Last September, Jimmy Barry-Murphy came within seconds of conjuring up what would probably have been his most audacious All-Ireland championship win, either on the field or off. But it didn’t happen: Cork finished second best and, all winter, they wondered how Clare had taken them for so many goals.

Yesterday, those alleyways and openings which Clare’s fliers had exploited slammed shut as quickly as they opened. Clare’s midfield was overwhelmed. Their defenders cut frustrated figures. Cork lived dangerously against Waterford but have bloomed in the weeks since and yesterday in Semple stadium, they seemed to answer a few questions that had been trailing them for too long.

“It was a tough few weeks; we got a break the first day to get a draw but our performance was better the last day and we built on that today,” said Barry-Murphy.

“We think the panel is very strong this year. It’s a positive getting fellas on the field but we have great competition for places and I thought the overall display was excellent. I was asked if the [Waterford] games had brought us on, and it certainly was a factor . . . our performances before that were poor, while that was a brilliant performance last Sunday. ‘

Sharpness’

Munster

Half an hour in and Davy Fitzgerald was reasonably happy. He had worried about those seven weeks of idling between league and championship and fretted that the Rebels would get off to a lightning start. But in the end, it was a minor factor.

“That was some of it. They were that bit sharper,” he said. “We got killed in the middle. I thought they beat us well in the middle and we tried a few different things to rectify that and I don’t think we did. The second goal came from Aidan Walsh fielding a ball that he shouldn’t have been able to . . . got it in and I suppose James couldn’t wait to blow the whistle then to give them one. Fair play to them. But I thought they were well on top at midfield.”

Afterwards, the Cork hurlers rejected the idea that this game had been some kind of plotted revenge. Conor Lehane shook his head when asked if this had been a response to the fact that they were largely forgotten after last years’ All-Ireland defeat.

Not revenge

“To be honest, we try to stay away from as much talk as we can because at the end of the day we’re still going to play our own game regardless of what people say,” he said.

“The main thing we’ve got to get into our heads is that we play our own game, we train our own way, we approach the games our own way and when the performance comes in, then everyone’s over the moon. You could see how much it lifted the team as well.

“I didn’t take any notice of whether we were looked down on or whatever after the All-Ireland because you know we put in a shift that could have won, but only little things got in the way to stop us.”

Little things. Davy Fitzgerald stood in what appeared like cold fury for referee James McGrath at half-time.

He didn’t get to speak with the official. There were unconfirmed reports yesterday evening that McGrath had been challenged and possibly struck by a member of the Clare back room staff before the resumption. The second half began without incident. Fitzgerald shook his head when asked if he had anything to say about the calls for and against Clare yesterday.

“I don’t need to. I don’t need to. Ah listen, I will deal with that in my own way and there is something I might speak about before the end of the year. I knew something was going to happen today before the game even happened today and it fair came a long way at half time towards trying to happen.

“Listen, fair play to Cork. They were the better team today and I really feel that. But there are one or two things in the GAA that badly need to be looked into and one or two bodies need to be looked into.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.