Prior to Friday night’s game against Finn Harps, Cork City striker Graham Cummins had only one league goal to his name, a statistic that won’t have pleased a man who has hit 18 and 17 league goals in both of his last two campaigns. But the three that he stuck past Harps’ ‘keeper Ciaran Gallagher quadrupled his tally for 2011 and, no doubt, made the prospect of meeting the press an altogether more pleasant proposition.
“It was nice to get three”, said Cummins, neatly understating his achievement, “but it’s nice for everyone to get five goals. It’s the first time that we’ve done that in a long time. It’s been coming, I think we’ve actually played better than we did tonight, Finn Harps were just unlucky to be on the receiving end of things. It’s a good win but hopefully we’ll carry it on to next week.”
As his manager had pointed out earlier, Cork City have dominated the majority of the teams that they have faced so far this year, something that Cummins was quick to agree with.
“We have. To be honest when we played Monaghan, in the first half, we could have got that many goals we just didn’t take our chances. But tonight everything seemed to fly in for us. It was fantastic tonight and we deserved to finally get a few goals. “
Although it was clearly a night to celebrate in the Cummins household, the striker also had a realistic view of a game that wasn’t necessarily as clear cut as the score-line might have suggested.
“In fairness I think they probably tired towards the end and gave us a few goals. But I think the third goal was very important for us because I felt Finn Harps were really coming back into it. At the start of the second half they were the better side. And it probably flattered us a bit, the five nil, but we’ll take it all the same.”
Cummin’s route to his first hat-trick since he scored four for Waterford United against Monaghan two years ago, was undoubtedly eased by the performance of the team around him, though he also conceded that Harps’ willingness to play football helped too.
“It kind of helped, as well, because I think Finn Harps were playing a very high line. They kept stepping out, so it’s much easier as a striker to get in behind them when there’s space. I mean, when we played the likes of Athlone they literally just sat on their goal- line. So, in fairness to Finn Harps, they came down and tried to play, they didn’t sit behind the ball. I think if teams play against us we’re much better.”
You would have to suppose that Cummins will face less open opposition more often than he would like over the coming months but, as he has proven in the past, come hail, rain or shine he is likely to be at the top end of the goalscoring charts come the business end of the season.
Simon O'Gorman began reporting for Extratime in 2010. He remembers Milltown and Flower Lodge and, back in the mists of time, saw Diego Maradona play at Lansdowne Road. He now lives in Co Kildare and reports on Shamrock Rovers among others. Simon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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