'Nothing is won': Brian Cody visited the Cork dressing room with an important message

With Leinster champions Dublin on the horizon, the Rebels can’t savour their famous scalp for too long.

Cody, left, with Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy after Sunday's quarter-final.
Cody, left, with Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy after Sunday's quarter-final.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

ON SO MANY occasions in the past, beating Kilkenny earned you the right to walk up the Croke Park steps and lift the Liam McCarthy Cup a few moments later.

There was no such reward for Cork on Sunday, only the knowledge that they had taken care of the most fearsome team in the country; that, and the prospect of an All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin.

Job done? Not even close, as Cats boss Brian Cody was quick to remind them when he stopped into their Semple Stadium dressing room shortly after the final whistle.

“Everyone stood up fairly quickly,” midfielder Daniel Kearney recalls. “He does have a bit of an aura about him alright.”

He was just saying that nothing is won and we know we have nothing won either. If we lose against Dublin, no-one is going to remember that we beat Kilkenny in the quarter-final.

The manner and margin of Sunday’s five-point win sets Cork back on track after their disappointing defeat against Limerick in the Munster final. Although much of the post-mortem focused on Patrick Horgan’s controversial red card, critics still saw plenty of reason to write off the Rebels.

Did that lack of expectation let them play with more freedom on Sunday?

“You could say there was pressure off,” Kearney says, “but equally you could say there was pressure on us because if we didn’t win it people would have said the Clare game was a flash in the pan.

“Our record would have been that win over Clare so two competitive wins all year against Tipp and Clare and that wouldn’t have been good enough at all.

Even with the sending off in the Limerick game I didn’t think we had done ourselves justice so that was another reason I felt we had to redeem ourselves.

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He added: “The monkey is off our back after it but there’s still room to improve. I thought our decision-making was poor.

“We took the wrong options at key points, had sloppy wides, so if we can rectify those for the next day we would stand a better chance against Dublin.”

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Niall Kelly

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