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"Do the simple things right" | O'Sullivan on Cork's plan for All Ireland final revenge

Jonathan Byrne
Jonathan Byrne

13:31 20 Dec 2020

Cork captain Doireann O'Sullivan is ready to put back-to-back losses to the Dubs behind her ahead of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Final this afternoon. 

"When we first started, we were the team to beat I suppose. We were the ones going for the four-in-a-rows." O'Sullivan remembers fondly the days of Cork's All-Ireland success and their last championship in 2016.

The tables have turned somewhat since then, and the Rebelettes find themselves as underdogs in today's decider.

"They are now the team to beat and look, it is a huge challenge. They're a hugely successful team, they're a formidable outfit."

O'Sullivan's praise for Dublin doesn't come without confidence in her own side.

Cork-Dublin: All Ireland rivalry

"We do believe we can beat them. There's no point training at the start of the year or meeting in January if you don't think you can be the best. We are positive about the challenge ahead."

More recently, Cork's semi-final with Galway was marred with controversy after a late venue switch due to a frozen pitch in Parnell Park. The Rebelettes found themselves playing in Croke Park, albeit on very short notice.

O'Sullivan reckons that can now be turned into a positive.

"The timing of the change wasn't ideal but now looking back, we're absolutely delighted to have gotten to play in Croke Park.

"Eimear Kiely, our wing-forward, and Erika O'Shea, our wing-back. The two girls had never played in Croke Park before.

"For them and the whole team, it was a huge advantage and benefit going into the final. Even getting to play in Croke Park, seeing the dimensions of the pitch and all that."

Revenge is on the cards for Cork

Cork will have revenge on their mind going into this year's All Ireland final, having lost out to Dublin in the semis last year and the final in 2018.

O'Sullivan believes they have learned from their mistakes of old.

"That loss to Dublin last year was hugely disappointing for us. We thought we ticked all the boxes and it just kind of flopped on the day. We've learned a lot since then. Losing is a huge motivating factor for any player and team."

What's the gameplan for the Rebelettes from the get-go this afternoon? Getting the simple things right, according to O'Sullivan.

"Last year in the semi-final and the year previous in the final, we actually panicked a small bit. Dublin got a goal and we hit the panic button very early on. It's important especially in the first 10 minutes to do the simple thing right."

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