‘A huge weight off their shoulders
FOLLOWING recent final heartache in GAA HQ, Cork intermediate selector Brian O’Sullivan was delighted to see the Leesiders got over the line against Down in the All-Ireland camogie final.
With reversals to Kilkenny and Meath still fresh in the minds of the majority of the squad, he admitted there was a sense of relief within the ranks.
“For a few of these girls, it’s a huge weight off their shoulders. In fairness, a lot of new blood came into the squad this year as well,” O’Sullivan said.
“Just overall, fantastic for the girls. We were only concentrating on today really, as opposed to the previous years.”
While Cork were worthy 0-18 to 0-6 winners when the teams met in the group stages back in July, this was always likely to be a tougher assignment. Down threatened an upset when they led by three points (0-5 to 0-2) in the 16th minute, before Cork hit a purple patch that O’Sullivan believes was a crucial factor in their success.
“We expected nothing less from Down to be honest. We knew they’d come out all guns blazing. They’re a very proud camogie county. They’re a strong, physical team, but we knew once we gained our composure and settled.
“Thankfully, we went in two points up. We re-grouped at half-time and gave a good performance in the second half. Overall, just delighted for the squad in particular.”
Because manager Paudie Murray was already turning his attention to the senior decider, O’Sullivan assumed post-match media duties. Cork’s triumph over Kilkenny in the day’s showpiece event made it a day to remember for all associated with Cork camogie and O’Sullivan praised both squads for their application throughout the season.
“For the girls involved with this team, and the senior team, they push each other on the whole time. They’re role models for any young girls to be honest. Their work-rate, their effort, throughout the whole year, is outstanding.
“Days like today is fantastic for them, and in particular the girls coming through minor as well, winning All-Irelands. It’s great for Cork camogie in general,” O’Sullivan added.