INPHO/Ryan Byrne Cork's Patrick Cronin.

Cork's Patrick Cronin on battling illness, Anthony Nash and passionate fans

The Rebels face Dublin in next Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park.

Learning from last year…

“We’ve learned an awful lot in 12 months. Last year we came close against Galway, but all the big games we’ve played since should stand to the younger players.

“Anytime you knock Kilkenny out of the championship is going to be special. Cork’s a hurling county so hopefully we can keep it going now and keep the fans onboard.

The challenge of Dublin…

“I think it will be a lot tougher than people expect. Dublin are Leinster champions but we haven’t won anything since 2006 and they’ve beaten Kilkenny the same as us.

“Dublin are going to be more physical than us. Not a lot of our guys would be big players. There will maybe be a contrast of styles but we’ll be looking to get our lads isolated.”

The impact of Anthony Nash

“He’s crazy alright. His attention to detail is amazing with his hurleys and sliotars. If he sees a nice one at training he’d be putting it in the gear bag!

“He’s played centre-back and corner-forward for his club as well. His free-taking is massive because he gets the crowd going and the team going when one of those goes over the bar.”

Cork supporters…

“Dublin will have a slight advantage alright because a few of our players haven’t played in Croke Park yet, but hopefully there will be a big Cork support there like there was in Thurles.

“Cork people are mad for hurling, it’s their number one sport and they love travelling to Thurles and Croke Park. Living in the city you’d feel the buzz, West Cork would be different, but even in a dual club like ours in Bishopstown there’s something about the hurling.”

Cork’s Pa Cronin celebrate after the Kilkenny game
Pic: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Suffering league relegation…

“We didn’t target our fitness work during the league and it showed in the relegation against Clare. There’s been a lot of negativity about Cork hurling over the last couple of years but anytime we come in training we see what talent is there.

“I also believed we could do well. I couldn’t understand why people read so much into the league campaign – we were a puck of a ball away from being in the league semi-final.

“Jimmy just came in and said the Tuesday after the league play-off that he’d been involved with teams who were relegated and went on to win All-Irelands. We always believed.”

Battling illness before the Munster semi final…

“I had pneumonia, but it wasn’t known I had it until I got a bang in the chest in the club match against Courcey Rovers and I started coughing up blood. You’d panic when you see that, so we went straight to CUH. I had been run down and drained for a few weeks beforehand, and my immune system had gone low.

“My first training session was the Thursday before the Clare match, so I was delighted to be able to get 10 minutes at the end of that. I was only out of hospital the Monday before.

“I was dealing with Dr Barry Plant, who is very close to Dr Con, so he knew about sport as well.”

Anthony Daly: ‘A Cork team is never going to really fear a Dublin team’

6 players to watch – Munster U21 hurling final: Tipperary v Clare

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.