CORK coach Ronan McCarthy was conflicted by his side's fourth win away to Tipp to put them in pole position for promotion with three games, two at home.
While obviously pleased with the result, he added the manner of the victory was disappointing from his point of view as Cork were left hanging on at the end. It should never have been so.
“Okay, they got a very good start and went five points up again early in the second half.
“And suddenly you're in a difficult position away from home against a very good side.
“But, we turned in around very quickly, playing some great stuff, Sean Powter and Ruairí Deane running at them and we cut them open.
“At times I thought we were really top-class, but I was disappointed with the way we managed the game at the end. You could say Tipp deserved something from it.
“We're experienced enough now and we're in a phase in our development, where we should manage these kind of games better.
“Instead of hanging on at the end, which we were, we needed better decision-making and better maintenance of the ball to see us home comfortably.
“Even down a man (after Ciarán Sheehan's 63rd-minute black card), it still doesn't excuse poor skill execution at times and at this point we expect more.
“It's something we've highlighted to the players and will continue to do so.
“They are a group receptive to coaching and will do it and implement it, but the evidence shows we've work to do,” McCarthy said.
It was Tipp who started as if they were on top of the Division 3 table and protecting their 100 percent record. But, it came as little surprise to McCarthy
“Tipp played with great spirit and determination when down to 12 men the previous week against Derry.
“They're obviously playing for each other and Tipperary have quality players.
“You put that combination of a hard-work ethic and quality together and they are going to trouble teams. Nobody should be surprised.”
The contrast between the rivals couldn't have been more stark than in the opening minutes when Tipp scored some fantastic points to race 0-5 to 0-0 ahead after nine minutes.
In the same spell, Cork hit four wides to compound their position as McCarthy explained.
“We didn't convert our chances in the first half, eight wides and two into the keeper's hands, and a lot of them were poor wides.
“But, we got there in the end and promotion is in our own hands now.”