Hickey is thrilled with Cork Con’s start
AFTER seeing his side weather a late storm against St Mary’s College, in their Ulster Bank League Division 1A opener last Saturday afternoon, Cork Constitution coach, Brian Hickey, was delighted to come away with a 20-16 victory.
Con had led by 14 points (17-3) in the early stages of the second-half, before Mary’s set-up a tense finale for the Temple Hill men.
However, the visitors took advantage of a strong breeze in the latter stages, and, with their defeat to Galwegians 12 months ago still fresh in his mind, Hickey was glad that they got over the line.
“I think the breeze was into that corner, and it was pleasing, but it was also frustrating, insofar as, why didn’t we do it for the 35 minutes prior to that?
“That will happen, and I’d be much happier having the win than last year, when we played Galwegians in the opening game. They were the things that cost us dear.
“Today, they could have cost us, but didn’t,” Hickey said.
There were impressive aspects to Con’s play, with the tries from Liam O’Connell and Niall Kenneally showcasing their ability to move the ball at pace.
Hickey believes this is a common feature of the league, and he was pleased that his players managed to execute these moves.
“I think, in fairness, Mary’s bust us up the middle with that a lot, and I just think runners coming from deep, and a good interplay, that’s a feature of this league. Teams are very, very good at making chances.
“It’s a much-maligned league, but I think you’ve very, very good players there. I was quite pleased with our execution of it, once again we got in behind them.”
Yet, despite coming through with four points in the end, Hickey acknowledged that there are areas of their game they will need to improve.
He feels their pre-season trip to Canada made it difficult for some of their first-team squad, but is confident that they will be able to sort any lingering issues in the coming weeks.
“I think our trip to Canada was quite divisive.
“It was very beneficial for the 23/24 players who were on it, and then it meant that the 10 or 15 guys who weren’t on it, part of the first-team squad, we had to blend them back in.
“I think, today, that rustiness showed, but I think, at the end of these four games, hopefully, all those little issues will be bedded-down for both sides,” Hickey added.