Cork and Glen Rovers sharpshooter Patrick Horgan. Cathal Noonan/INPHO
new horizons

'There’s no point winning the county final if you’re not going to have a crack at this'

Cork star Patrick Horgan was pleased to see Glen Rovers push on in Munster after winning the county crown.

CORK STAR PATRICK Horgan believes that his club’s progression to an AIB Munster senior final can lift the county team’s flagging spirits.

It’s been a difficult few years for the Rebels since they contested an All-Ireland final in 2013 but Glen Rovers provided Cork with a real boost by progressing to a provincial decider with Ballyea on November 20.

Horgan, who shot eight points in the narrow victory over Patrickswell on Sunday, was one of the heroes as Glen Rovers ended a barren run without a victory in Munster for Cork clubs that had stretched back to 2009.

And Horgan, 28, says that the success achieved by Rovers in winning back-to-back county crowns and moving forward from there should be the template for Cork to lift themselves out of the inter-county doldrums.

He said: “What we’ve shown, whatever about last year but especially this year, is that with hard work and a bit of determination, it doesn’t matter who you’re up against or who’s on the other team.

Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

“If 15 of your players are thinking on the same wavelength and they all want the same thing, you can achieve if you want. That’s the main goal with any team.”

And Horgan pointed to Ballyea’s shock victory over Thurles Sarsfields in the other Munster club semi-final as proof positive that on any given day, pre-match favourites can be overturned with the right attitude.

He said: “The boys were saying that when you get outside your county, you could come up against anything – obviously Thurles weren’t ready for Ballyea.”

For Rovers, there’s now a prime opportunity to win a first Munster crown since 1976, as they prepare for their first final appearance since then.

Donal Cronin celebrates at the final whistle Donal Cronin salutes Sunday's narrow win over Patrickswell. Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

And while Horgan admits that the Glen’s first half performance on Sunday was well below par, he was happy with the second half reaction.

He reflected: “In the first half, we weren’t good.

“Richie (Kelleher) told us at half-time we need to be better, we need to use the ball a bit better and I think we showed in the second half, we did do that.

We were composed on the ball and it wasn’t easy for them either, shooting up into that goal but once we were in the game with ten minutes to go, we’ve seen it all year that we’re a good side and we won’t be going away too easily.”

Richie Kelleher Glen Rovers manager Richie Kelleher. Tommy Grealy / INPHO Tommy Grealy / INPHO / INPHO

And Horgan pointed to a growing maturity in the Glen Rovers ranks as they went one step better than last year in Munster, when they lost out to Ballygunner at the semi-final stage.

He said: “I think last year, we were cold going into the game, we played with a strong wind and had a lot of wides in that first half as well, now that I think of it.

“I think the emotion of winning the first county in so long (26 years) got the better of us as well.

“We were back training on the Thursday after the county final.

There’s no point winning the county final if you’re not going to have a crack at this and put yourself up against the best out there.

“We’re one of the best teams now in Munster at the moment and nobody can take that away from us, we’re in the final in two weeks.

Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

“It’s brilliant – when was the last Cork team that won outside Cork?

It’s a big thing for us, to show we’re not just Cork standard down low, winning bad counties in Cork, we’re not. We were up against a serious team there.

“There was Na Piarsaigh in Limerick and Kilmallock and these lads beat them so what can we do?

“We’re only beating what’s there. They’re a really good side so we’re obviously a good side as well. We’ll see where it gets us.”

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