What they said … the weekend in quotes

January 15, 2018

Stewards Sean Cooney, John O'Connell and Liam Sheehan read the match programme before the 2018 McGrath Cup final between Cork and Clare in Mallow.
©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

"Cork had a young side out but any time you beat Cork you will take it and a lot of them lads won Fitzgibbon medals last year."

Fintan O'Connor and Kerry celebrated a first competitive victory over Cork since 1891!

"We were using the game like the previous two in the Munster League to try and find players and we were quite happy with one or two players there and that is the essence of these competitions. We are focused on Kilkenny in two weeks' time."

O'Connor's Cork counterpart John Meyler isn't dwelling on their 10-point defeat.

"I thought Dublin were the better team in the first-half, but that was down to us. We did not fight hard enough. We did not win an 50-50 balls. We played a bit better in the second-half, but I think your man being sent-off was the change. That gave us more room."

Davy Fitzgerald will demand improvement from his Wexford players ahead of their Walsh Cup final clash with Kilkenny.

"You are going to struggle once you go a man down and we had been putting in a seriously intense shift up to that point."

The 46th minute dismissal of Paul Winters proved costly for Pat Gilroy and the Dubs.

"As long as I am the manager of the team we will be involved in this competition. I see great benefits from the point of competitive matches and getting match fitness into the legs while also getting to see players in tough games."

Ronan McCarthy guided Cork to a McGrath Cup final success over Clare on Saturday.

"I was happy with the players; they put in a real good effort. They are training hard and working hard. It is all about work rate, work rate, work rate."

Offaly gave a good account of themselves against Kilkenny on Saturday and manager Kevin Martin hopes it's a sign of things to come.

"The game against Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh is a terrific game to start the league off with so that's what everyone is aiming towards."

A Walsh Cup final date with Wexford will help Brian Cody and the Cats fine tune their preparations for the league.

"We are going to play in one of the competitions we can win in a final and it's going to be live on TV in O'Moore Park with a big crowd. This is what these lads train for."

Colin Kelly and Westmeath are gunning for O'Byrne Cup success.

"When we went in to the dressing room we fixed a few things and they played relatively good football in the second-half. The shooting boots weren't on, we kicked three balls into the goalie's hands and at this level you can't do that, we missed kickable scores."

Stephen Wallace and Offaly were left to rue squandered opportunities in Mullingar.

"I think that game would have taught us more about what we're going to face in a few weeks time, and we are very glad to have had that challenge."

Holders Tyrone booked a return to the Dr McKenna Cup showpiece under Mickey Harte.

"We would be very happy with the way we kept our shape. We put some pretty decent ball into our inside forwards. They worked very hard. The overall workrate and application was very pleasing. It's a step in the right direction, but there's still an awful lot of work to do."

Limerick's league preparations received the perfect boost with a Munster SHL final win over Clare and John Kiely was delighted with their performance.

"We used it as an opportunity to try out 10 or 11 new players and to try other players in new positions. We know where were are now. We've a lot of work to do."

Clare joint-manager Gerry O'Connor gave his take on proceedings at the Gaelic Grounds.

"It was a pretty spectacular endorsement for the new rule. The excitement was pulsating, the tension was pretty amazing. It was an iconic moment, history in the making. It added huge excitement to the end of the game."

Two-time All-Ireland winning Meath forward Bernard Flynn enjoyed the free shoot out in Pairc Tailteann.



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