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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 20 May, 2019
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Back injury ruled out Cork midfielder just before throw-in of Munster opener

Bill Cooper was absent as Cork lost out to Tipperary.

Bill Cooper was unable to line out for Cork today.
Bill Cooper was unable to line out for Cork today.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

CORK WERE FORCED to field without midfielder Bill Cooper due to a back injury he suffered before throw-in of today’s Munster senior hurling clash with Tipperary.

After Cork had undergone their warm-up, Cooper was seen walking down the tunnel at Páirc Uí Chaoimh with the team doctors and it was announced shortly after that Robbie O’Flynn had been drafted in as a late replacement.

Cork ultimately suffered a seven-point defeat but while acknowledging Cooper was a loss, manager John Meyler felt they could not use the absence of a regular midfielder as an excuse.

“(It was) his back, a spasm in his back. It just meant reorganising, Bill is a fantastic player, a leader of the team really – he’s one of the senior members of the team so it was a massive loss to us.

“But we just had to reorganise, and put Luke (Meade) back into midfield. He played quite well I thought but we lost that at half-forward and we lost Bill at midfield.

“But that’s not an excuse, really, you have to be able to lose one or two players through injury or whatever, and that was it.”

Meyler felt Cork suffered at the hands of a Tipperary side who had more fluency to their play and displayed greater hunger.

John Meyler dejected after the game A dejected John Meyler after today's game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“I think Tipperary were more fluent, sharper, more mobile, (had) better support play than us today. They looked extremely hungry, they got a very good start with the goal, they got a good advantage on us early on, in the first half, but we brought it back to a point at half-time.

“I thought we’d get in at half-time and reorganise, get back to the basics again, but again, they came out for the second half and drove on again. That goal they got up in the top end really kind of finished us off there.

“I felt with Seamus’s goal that we were back in it, there were three or four points in it, but Hoggy was held up, a free in, a free out, but it was a free out.

“That would have brought it back to three or four points and Tipp were just, they were more fluent, better support play and were just hungrier than us. That’s really it.”

The Cork manager is well aware of the tough task they now face with a trip to face Limerick next Sunday beckoning.

“Yeah look it’s seven days but that’s the beauty of the Munster championship, the match is over. We just need to reorganise and focus now on Limerick next week. Away to Limerick and we need to get a win and that’s basically it.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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