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Mikey Cahalane: "A Guy That Doesn’t Understand The Word 'No'"

Hurling is back. Cork are back. The prospect of a truly tantalising summer awaits after the Rebels beat Tipp at Semple Stadium today.

It was a victory that demanded supreme character and will power. It was certain that the day would be Cork's when Bandon's Mikey Cahalane grabbed Cork's second goal with a brilliantly-taken goal three minutes after being introduced in the second half.

It was a moment that seemed frankly impossible two years ago. Cahalane broke into the Cork panel during the 2014 League only to be told by doctors in 2015 that he would never play another game of hurling due to enlarged heart.

Pardon the terrible pun here, but Cahalane fought back like a man with enlarged heart. With some expert medical care, he learned to manage his condition and broke his way back into the panel during the 2017 League.

Here's how he explained his recovery to Denis Hurley in the Examiner (no link).

“Dad and Mam, first day they said that it’s like a car, if something is wrong, then you go to someone who’ll fix it.

“Most people that we went to after taking the medication were positive enough, the results were improving and I never really gave up hope.”

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Pat Kenneally was effusive when discussing Cahalane's battling skills when talking to the Sun during the League:

“He was on the minor team for two years. We are talking about a guy that doesn’t understand the word ‘no’.

“He is fulfilling the promise he’d shown for so long. It would’ve been such a shame if he was unable to get a chance to fulfil his potential.

“If there was such a thing as too committed that would be him, so it’s no surprise to us either that he’s back

Cahalane had a strong League campaign for Cork this winter and won the praise of Seanie McGrath on League Sunday following Cork's win over Waterford.

“To see the way he performed when he came out today, he got a great score, set up another score.

“It’s a fantastic testament to him and to the medical team. It’s fantastic for his family, just great.”

Today he came off the bench to score the goal that finished Tipp off. Cork can dream again and it's because of characters like Mikey Cahalane who won't accept the word no.

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Donny Mahoney

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