BY NOEL HORGAN
THE superb fare served up by Castlehaven and Duhallow provided a much-needed shot in the arm for Cork football, according to Mark Collins.
The Haven skipper pointed out that Cork’s pride has taken a bit of a battering over the past few seasons, but he said the quality of the football in evidence at Páirc Uí Rinn last Saturday night will have helped to dispel the notion that there is a gross dearth of talent in the Rebel County at the moment.
‘Bearing in mind that Cork football has been in the doldrums in recent years, I suppose the big positive to come out of tonight was that it was a super game, and to produce a match like this was great from that perspective,’ he said.
‘As regards the result, we’d be a bit disappointed, because we probably had the game won in normal time, and again towards the end of extra time.
‘I think we were five points up when Dave McCarthy was put clean through with time running out, and after his goal-attempt was saved, the ball went down to the other end where it finished up in the back of the net.
‘Duhallow got what from our point of view was another sloppy goal to go ahead in the 21st minute of extra-time, but what heart we showed to draw level after that.
‘Everybody was out on their feet, and we looked dead and buried, so the movement in our last attack was unbelievable.’
Collins felt that the Haven could take a lot of encouragement from their display overall.
‘It was a massive improvement from last week when, to be honest, we got out of jail,’ he said.
‘We didn’t play until the last ten minutes of the drawn match, and Duhallow were probably six or seven points a better team over the hour.
‘So, we were determied to have a right cut at it tonight, and I feel we can be very happy with our performance, although disappointed we didn’t come out of it with a win.’
The Cork star admitted that Duhallow probably deserved another bite of the cherry, however, and that, taking everything into account, a draw was a fair result.
‘I said after I saw them against Valley Rovers in the quarter-fInal that they they were a very a good team, and they confirmed it tonight,’ he said.
‘We’ll need to be at out very best next weekend if we are to come out on top and qualify for a county final.
‘The priority now is to get the bodies right to go again, because we’ve been involved in two very tough games, emotionally as well as physically, and it won’t be easy to get everything sorted out in a week.
‘The bottom line is we’re still in a county semi-final, and a repeat of what we produced tonight would leave us in with a great chance of getting the result we want the next day, so we’ll look forward to taking on Duhallow for the third time.’