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'Anything that doesn't kill you will make you stronger' - Ring salutes Cork's Munster minor winners

Cork were crowned Electric Ireland Munster minor hurling champions for the first time in nine years yesterday.

IT WAS A magnificent Sunday for Cork hurling, as the county’s minor and senior teams swept to Munster glory.

The minors paved the way with a comprehensive victory over Clare, before the Banner’s seniors were also beaten by Kieran Kingston’s Rebels.

For the Cork minors, it was a first Munster crown in nine years and they look like strong All-Ireland contenders.

Brian Turnbull, man of the match Evan Sheehan and Ger Millerick savour Cork's minor win. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

But manager Denis Ring was involved back in 2005 when a highly-rated crop beat Limerick by nine points in the provincial final, before losing out to Joe Canning-inspired Galway at the All-Ireland semi-final stage.

Ring said: “You take nothing for granted in this thing but it’s nice to be in the position we’re in, thank God.”

And Ring believes that two mammoth clashes with Tipperary stood to his players yesterday.

It might have been Cork’s third game in 11 days but it’s hard to beat momentum and Cork had it.

Sean O'Leary Hayes lifts the cup Captain Sean O'Leary Hayes lifts the trophy. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Having got out of jail against Tipperary in Thurles last Thursday week, Cork beat last year’s provincial and All-Ireland champions in front of a massive Páirc Uí Rinn crowd on Monday evening. 

That left Cork with just a six-day turnaround before facing a fresh Clare outfit, but Ring’s starlets were battle-hardened, and coped in some style.

“They did, yeah. Anything that doesn’t kill you will make you stronger, and when we were still alive, we were still alive. It’s absolutely brilliant.

Evan Sheehan scores a goal to tie the game Evan Sheehan's late free salvaged a semi-final replay for Cork against Tipperary - and they took that second chance. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

“They’re a fantastic bunch of lads and their commitment, effort and everything has been absolutely remarkable for us.

“We couldn’t be prouder of them to be perfectly honest with you. Big players perform on the big days, I said that to them this morning and they performed.”

Sheehan was taken off in both games against Tipp (and brought back on in the drawn game to score an equalising goal in stoppage time at the end of extra-time) but he was man-of-the-match in yesterday’s provincial decider.

And Ring had a feeling that a big performance was coming from the Na Piarsaigh forward.

“We knew that all along, we knew the calibre of player he was. We were just waiting for it to happen. To be honest with you, if you were privy to our conversation during the week, that’s what we kept reckoning, that he was the man who was going to do it.”

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