Sunday 25 February 2018

Twenty men would not have halted us - Patrick Horgan

Patrick Horgan
Patrick Horgan

ONLY the league? Don't say that to Patrick Horgan, who has never experienced "anything" to compare with Cork's comeback from beyond the grave on Sunday.

Having trailed Dublin by 12 points after a torrid first quarter, and seven just beyond the hour, the Leesiders' subsequent depiction of Lazarus was a sign of growing resilience in Jimmy Barry-Murphy's dressing-room.

"I have not felt anything like that playing for Cork - coming back from losing like that to nick the point with the last puck of the game. It is a great feeling. It can only give us confidence for two weeks' time," says Horgan, their freetaker supreme, in reference to Sunday week's Allianz Hurling League decider against Waterford.


That said, dramatic oscillations have been par for the Rebel course in recent weeks. In their last 1A outing, they led Tipperary by 12 points entering the last 15 minutes - and lost. In their quarter-final against Wexford, they trailed by eight late in the first half - and won by four.

Suffice to say, if they ever learned to play for 70 minutes, they'd be unstoppable.

Still, Horgan is happy to have answered further hard questions about character at the weekend.

Would they have been capable of such a turnaround just a few years ago? "Looking back it, I am probably not sure," he admits. "There is fierce character about our team and going in at half-time - no matter what we are down by or up by - we are still going to pour on pressure on teams, and whether they can deal with that is another thing.

"Like, with 10 minutes to go and we started to pile on the pressure, if they had 20 men on the field they would not have stopped us. It was just constant. They couldn't stop it, they did everything they could to do that and they couldn't, so there is a lot of credit due to us for that."


The Glen Rovers man finished with a staggering 17 points, comprising 12 frees, two '65s' and three from play, against Dublin. He has "probably not" amassed so many scores in one game for Cork.

But Horgan is happy to spread the bouquets, praising hard-working teammates who win the frees while suggesting that Cork now possess "probably our best forward pick" in the last number of years.

"The way I look at it," he concludes, "we win together or we lose together."



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