JUST like most observers Cork coach Ronan McCarthy agreed the 13-point margin at the finish against Dublin was a bit unjust.
“We were competitive and a fair reflection of the game was that we kept going at them.
“We didn’t sit back, but we were always under pressure, especially after conceding the second goal so close to half-time.
“But, we stuck at it and got the penalty which got us back to within a couple of points."
The Rebels pushed the All-Ireland champions hard at Croke Park but paid the price for some mistakes in the last quarter.
“It was kind of tit-for-tat until we made some very poor decisions near the end, conceding 3-4.
“Dublin deserved to win the game, no doubt about that, but I think the scoreline is a bit unfair to us,” he said.
A relative inexperienced Cork side learned valuable lessons about the importance of retaining possession and using the ball wisely.
“Every time you give the ball back to Dublin you inevitably pay for it at the other end.
“We wanted the players to be patient and to wait for the opportunities.
“I thought we did that well and should have continued doing it more than we did.
“We started the game quite well and were a bit unfortunate with the first goal.
“We double-teamed Jack McCaffrey, who still wriggled his way through and finished quite well.
“Overall, I thought the lads were positive, showed courage and came away from the game with 23 scores to 18 .
“We had nine different scorers and I thought there were a lot of positives in it.
“If I was to be critical of the team I would say we are a small bit naieve still and that comes from our lack of experience against the top teams.
“The more often we play them the better and I believe we are in good shape going into the game next week.”
McCarthy paid tribute to the All-Ireland champions, who appear to be on course for a record-breaking fifth Sam Maguire on the spin.
“Dublin are an outstanding team. They don’t panic, but I think it’s their decision making which is the key thing.
“They are patient and will always wait for the right man to get the shot off, whereas we were a bit rushed at times.”