NIALL CORCORAN obviously has no psychological hang-ups about facing his ‘home’ county — his peerless corner-back display against Galway last Sunday underlined that point.
What’s more, the Sky Blue ‘import’ from Meelick-Eyrecourt is relishing the looming prospect of Dublin/Galway, the relegation shootout sequel.
“Can’t wait for it, yeah, savage,” Corcoran declared, as he contemplated Saturday’s Division 1A play-off replay in Portlaoise.
Anthony Daly’s Dubs gained an unlikely stay of execution last Sunday, surviving two red cards during extra-time to force parity with two late points.
“It was a knockout game,” Corcoran pointed out. “We looked at this as the first round of our championship, if you like — everything to play for, and no one wants to be relegated.
“Everyone was just hammer and tongs. Win your own battle, as Dalo said to us, and that’s what we had to do.”
He added: “We probably felt we started slowly, a bit nervous, but in the second half of extra-time lads put the head down. We had nothing to lose, 13 men; let’s just go for it … and fair play to the boys, they really ground out a result.”
To force a draw against all odds was, according to Corcoran, further evidence of Dublin’s evolution into a serious outfit.
“It shows the character of these lads,” he enthused. “The last couple of years, (we have been) really building — not just a team but a whole squad. Everyone in it for the same reason. And when you have that ferocious togetherness, you can go a long way and you’re hard to beat.”
Referee Barry Kelly attracted plenty of post-match ire from the Dubs, with Daly criticising some “unbelievable” decisions not to award frees, but Corcoran cited a bigger problem with GAA officiating — inconsistency.
“It depends on the referee,” he explained. “There are ferocious hits going in there, and the referee can let it go. But the frustrating thing sometimes is then you get pulled for silly things, pulled for soft frees, and I suppose that’s the frustration.
“If there was that consistency there, lads would be happy,” he concluded.
– Frank Roche – Evening Herald