CORK football captain, Paul Kerrigan, spoke frankly after the loss to Kerry in the Munster final, where he said their performance simply wasn’t good enough.
On Saturday that was something he couldn’t say and just like all the squad he was devastated at the one-point loss, after extra-time, to Mayo to see their season come to an end.
Paul has been around the squad now for a number of years and in only one of a handful left who have an All-Ireland medal in their back pocket.
After the game, he thanked the squad for their efforts and also paid tribute to manager, Peadar Healy, who announced he was stepping down as his two-year term was up.
“We’re gutted to have lost, it was a similar performance to Donegal last year, and we couldn’t get over the line then either.
“But I am very proud of the lads, they left everything out there and gave it everything right to the end of extra-time and I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“Some would say that was a moral victory, but we are here for victories and it’s shattering to have lost this one. We needed to put in a performance today after the Kerry game.
“We looked at it afterwards and there were positives we could take from that game as we created a lot of chances and we just needed to build on that today.
“We felt if we ran at them we could get at their defence and we did that and got support from other players and we were able to pick off scores, but unfortunately we came up short.”
Kerrigan also thanked Healy for his work over the last two years as manager.
“It’s a very tough job being the Cork football manager and he has shifted an awful lot of heavy criticism. But he has always backed us.
“He put an unbelievable backroom team together and the amount of hours they put in over the last two years was unreal.
“I thanked him on behalf of myself and the players for the time he put in and also for his time as coach under Conor Counihan when we won the All-Ireland
“People forget that he trained Cork to their last All-Ireland win and as I said he gets a lot of criticism for doing what is a really difficult job.
“We don’t make it easy on him either sometimes with our displays out on the field, but I think today he was proud of us and it was a good display to sign off on.
“I always got on well with him since I joined the panel and he spoke to us before he announced he was stepping down and we all wish him the very best,” concluded Paul.