THERE weren't too many positives you could take from Cork ladies footballers 4-9 to 3-11 defeat to Armagh in the All-Ireland championship round robing series last Saturday.
For most of the game the Rebels played second fiddle to a determined Ulster side who knew that a loss would see their interest in the series end. Instead they battled for every ball as if their lives depended on it and in football terms it did.
When they realised they had qualified after the game they were in jubilant form on the pitch.
Cast your eyes down the other end and there wasn't much conversation where the Rebels were warming down.
Have no doubt they will be hurt and, like all good sides, you can expect a reaction next weekend when they take on Tyrone in the quarter-final.
However there was some good news for Cork as captain Doireann O'Sullivan, played her first full game since last December.
Doireann has been out with a back injury and made a welcome return for 20 minutes or so against Cavan the previous week, but this was her first full game and she showed her value to the side, hitting five points over the hour.
Afterwards she was delighted to be back but far from happy with the loss.
“I'm delighted to get the first full game of the year under my belt, but a very disappointing result.
“We have to look forward now though and have a six day or so turn around before we face Tyrone in the quarter-final.
“We have met them a number of times over the last 10 years or so and they are never an easy side to beat. They have some unbelievable players, especially around the middle of the field and we will also have to man-mark some of their inside forwards as well.
“Northern teams always bring fierce pace and aggression to the game so we will have to do our homework on them and prepare accordingly.
“Looking at today's (Saturday's) game we are fierce disappointed, we don't take defeat easily and we will have to pick ourselves up now and get our bodies and minds right for Tyrone.
“The only positive we can take from today is how we finished out the game. We were 10 points down and in fairness to the girls they kept battling and we finished strongly and had a couple of chances to maybe snatch a draw or even a win.
“But we played 50 minutes of below-par football and it was only in that last 10 minutes that we really played anyway well. Players stood up in that time and, as I said, we could have run away with a steal if it had gone on another few minutes.
“I hit the last kick wide there and that wasn't good enough at this level. They are shots you need to be scoring at this level.”
On the harsh sin-binning of her sister, Ciara, when Armagh came from four points down to lead by one, she said: “It's small margins and momentum shifted to them just before half-time and then for the nine minutes or so of the second-half when Ciara was off, they took control.
“We were down a player and in that heat it wasn't easy but we battled back and with a little bit more luck we could have snatched a draw.
“We have been on the road now for a couple of years together and this is by no means the end of our championship. We will get down to it in training during the week and get our heads up for the Tyrone game,” concluded Doireann.