THE INJURY TO Cork goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack marred what was, otherwise, a good day for Cork hurling yesterday.
The Rebels sealed a league decider with Kilkenny on Sunday week with an impressive win over Tipperary at Semple Stadium.
They had to do so with replacement net-minder Anthony Nash between the posts however after Cusack was stretchered off in some pain. The 35-year-old confirmed via Twitter on Monday afternoon that he had suffered a ‘complete rupture’ of his Achilles tendon.
“We wanted to get to the league final, having gotten to the semi-final, so that was our objective and I’m very pleased about that,” Cork manager Jimmy Barry Murphy told RTÉ afterwards.
“[Cusack is] a terrible loss for us. I’m bitterly disappointed for him because he’s been a great captain for us so far and he’s done a great job and he’s really been the players leader and they look up to him very much so it’s a great loss for us.”
“Absolutely huge blow, there’s no doubt about it,” Cork’s All-Ireland winning captain of 1999, Mark Landers, added afterwards.
Landers however, told RedFM’s Big Red Bench, that though the experience of Cusack will be missed, the Rebels have two replacements ready to go.
“We’re lucky in that Cork are blessed with two back-up goalkeepers in Anthony Nash and Martin Coleman. [Nash] got a wonderful score from a long-range free, he saved a 21 yard free from Eoin Kelly and he made another save from play.
“So, you know both Anthony and Martin Coleman have an awful lot of work done over the past five or six years with Donal Óg Cusack. So whoever gets the position in this moment in time — that’s presuming Donal Óg is out for the rest of the season — Cork will have no fears,” he added.