CORK selector Pat Hartnett made it quite clear in his opening remarks to the assembled media in the aftermath of his team’s defeat that Waterford were deserving winners.
“First I would like to say that the better team won on the day, that has to be acknowledged.
“For a period in the second-half there we were two points up and then the game got away from us.
“We would not like to focus on the red card or the red cards because I think the better team on the day came out on top.
“I want to acknowledge that Alan Cadogan had been quite sick with cellulitis, Luke Meade had had a broken finger but that’s not an excuse, it’s just the facts.
The former player believed that Cork had not played as well as he might have hoped.
“In certain areas, we did not do ourselves justice, we have no complaints, justice was done and it was Waterford’s day.
After the dismissal of Damien Cahalane, Cork were still in the game and in fact two points to the good before the house came crashing down.
“The game was swinging to and fro and there were opportunities on both sides. I don’t know exactly the wide count but at all times I suppose the team that makes the fewer mistakes come out on top.
“At half-time, not having played to our best we were still in the game but, to repeat, Waterford were deserving winners.
On the sending off of Cahalane for a second yellow card offence, Hartnett played it down as much as he could.
“I saw the second one, I didn’t see the first one but in saying that, Damien has been phenomenal for us all year.
“He was a genuine leader for us but these things happen and I don’t want to focus on it really.’’
Was the five week lay-off a factor?
“It is what it is really, we trained exceptionally hard. I thought the coaching was excellent this year.
“We totally concentrated on hurling this year but, as I said before, we did not do ourselves justice here.
“In saying that the effort was always there but things just did not go our way today and the better team came out on top at the end.
“They finished very strongly and that was a big difference.’’