Wednesday 26 October 2016

'We were fed up of all the criticism': O'Driscoll

THE old and ancient rivals must do it all again after Kerry corner-back Fionn Fitzgerald salvaged a draw for Kerry, 2-15 to 3-12, in injury-time of yesterday's enthralling Munster SFC final in Killarney.

The Rebels looked set to topple the reigning Munster and All-Ireland champions as the game ticked after Brian Cuthbert's men put in a storming second half only to be denied in the dying seconds.

Cork will be hoping they did not leave victory behind them ahead of the replay, back in Killlarney on Saturday July 18, after ref Pádraig Hughes awarded the Kingdom a very soft second half penalty that handed the green and gold a much-needed lifeline.

Cork had taken control in the second half, but the game turned when Hughes awarded Kerry a when Mark Collins was adjudged to have fouled O'Donoghue and O'Donoghue converted from the penalty spot.

Cork's Barry O'Driscoll said afterwards that his team had used all the negative analysis of the Rebels to fuel their second half drive.

"You hear all of (the criticism). Yeah, it does annoy you and we're fed up of it. We'll take a lot from it, positives and negatives going to the next day. We're looking to perform like this and better every time we go out so we'll move on to the next day."

Victory yesterday would have been the Rebels first victory at Fitzgerald Stadium in 20 years and it looked certain when Barry O'Driscoll goaled late on.

Colm O'Neill and Kieran Donaghy exchanged goals in the first-half as Eamonn Fitzmaurice's men led 1-9 to 1-5 at the half-time break. However, Cork were reborn in the second half with goals from O'Driscoll and Donncha O'Connor looking to have given them a winning position.

Cork would have staged the replay but with Páirc Uá Caoimh unavailable due to ground renovations, the replay will take place once in Killarney.

Throughout the 70-plus minutes of action there were three black cards shown by ref Hugh with Paul Kerrigan and Colm O'Driscoll getting their marching orders for the Rebels, while Kerry's David Moran was sent from the field.

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