SOMETIMES you just have to put up your hand and accept that on the day you were second best.
To be fair to Cork boss Kieran Kingston, he accepted that Waterford deserved their Munster semi-final victory and he made no excuses either.
“It was a tough day. I said beforehand I didn’t really know where we were at, but I certainly thought we were going well enough in training. We didn’t bring the performance from training. The way we were going in training, we didn’t bring it to the pitch today.
“Over the course of the 70-odd minutes I think we didn’t deserve to win the game,” the Cork manager declared.
“When you look back on it, we lost more than our fair share of those (50-50) balls and that’s disappointing.
“From our perspective, we have a game under the belt, we have to regroup, see what the draw brings and see what we can learn from what happened out there today.
“We are better than we showed today, no question about that.”
Kingston acknowledged that the Waterford goal, delightfully executed by wing-back Calum Lyons came at a crucial time.
“It certainly came at the right time for them. We would have liked to have got that break at the other end. Then, I think, when that happened, they were able to sit back a little bit more and invite us on them, and they did that very, very well.
“Fair play to Waterford, we can lament and drown our sorrows, but we got to turn this around as quick as we can, see what the draw brings us, and we also got to congratulate Waterford. They deserved it on the day.
“We got to take the learnings from it and be ready for the next game, whether that is a week or two weeks.”
Meanwhile, Waterford boss Liam Cahill was happy with his side’s work-rate in their triumph.
“Work rate was one of the main pleasing aspects of it but I thought our use of the ball was really good.
“When Stephen Bennett came deep towards the end of the game his distribution was excellent.
“There was a nice feel to it, there was an energy on the field and when there’s energy on the field you always have a chance.
“Playing into the wind was that bit easier for us and I’m delighted to make a Munster final.
"That was the prize on offer today. We knew we had to hurl well to have any chance of getting over the line against Cork, so really happy for the players for the way they’ve looked after themselves in the lockdown, to come back in that physical condition."