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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

Back from a torn cruciate, coping with a red card and awaiting a first Munster senior final

Colm Spillane is grateful to look forward to a Munster decider after his dismissal.

COLM SPILLANE HAD a close-up view of the finale in Semple Stadium on Sunday but it was not the vantage point he desired.

Instead of being immersed in Cork’s defensive effort, he was watching on from the sideline after being called ashore when he was shown a second yellow card in the 61st minute.

Michael Cahalane and Colm Spillane with Tommy Ryan Colm Spillane was sent-off after being shown a second yellow card against Waterford. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“It was very tough. It was my first time getting sent off ever, in any game. I’ve never been sent off before. It was surreal. It was a second yellow so it was relief in that I won’t be missing the next game.

“We were up by two (points) when I got sent off and we tagged on a few points from there.

“The lads really tightened up and you wouldn’t have even known that they had a spare man in the last 10 minutes.”

Spillane was grateful for his team-mates in closing out the match successfully.

He’ll turn 24 on Saturday week but the Munster final on 9 July will be his first occasion sampling the prestigious senior showpiece.

The Castlelyons defender has had to be patient with injuries hindering his progress before he finally made his senior championship bow last month against Tipperary.

Noel McGrath under pressure Colm Spillane in action against Noel McGrath last month. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Rewind twelve months ago and he was in the midst of the slow, painful process of trying to mend a torn cruciate.

“I did my cruciate last year, it was against Waterford in the league. I missed the entire year.

“I know a lot of people have done it but it is a long road back. It is tough going. Days like this make it worth it. It is brilliant to be looking forward to the Munster final.”

After taking out the All-Ireland champions, there was a strong determination in the Cork camp to prove it was not a solitary moment of joy.

“I think that was a massive point that the group wanted to prove. We wanted to prove that the Tipperary result wasn’t a fluke, as people were saying.

“We trained hard. It is just brilliant to put two games back-to-back. The Tipperary game was a bit of a shootout. This game was tougher. It was brilliant to play against a couple of different styles.”

Spillane is part of new wave that has boosted the Cork squad but he was keen to pay tribute to established cohort in the Cork squad.

“The last couple of years have been very disappointing. Maybe, the team has been in transition somewhat. This year, fellas are working fierce hard and there is obviously new lads who have come into the team and they have obviously made a big addition.

“The fellas who have been there the last couple of years and who have received criticism, I think they have just been phenomenal. Everyone is working hard, everyone is enjoying it. That is the main thing. We need to keep going.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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