RTÉ’s Munster SHC final studio analysts were gushing in their praise of Cork following an enthralling 1-25 to 1-20 victory over Clare at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
Cyril Farrell, Liam Sheedy, and Henry Shefflin praised Kieran Kingston’s side for a workmanlike rather than spectacular display on the same day Cork’s minors also claimed provincial glory.
“It is a phenomenal turnout by Cork hurling to see the way their minors expressed themselves earlier in the day and then see the way their senior team has gone about their business today,” former Tipperary All-Ireland winning bainisteoir Liam Sheedy commented.
“On a Munster final day you are looking for someone to do something special and for me, Cork had two players that did that.
"Up front, Alan Cadogan was a joy to watch and scored 1-4 on the biggest day in Munster hurling.
"He was buzzing around all day and a real pain to that Clare defence.
"Likewise, Marl Coleman showed experience beyond his youth and has been the best player I’ve seen this year.
“I know Gary Keegan is involved in the background but to see the belief that Cork has about them this year is something.
"It looked at one stage with 15 minutes gone in the second half that Clare were going to come back into the game but they just stepped on the gas and pushed on again.
"Cork probably should have won by more and it was probably a bit tighter than it should have been but overall, worthy champions.”
Sheedy also made a point of querying Clare’s decision not to contest Cork’s short puck out strategy as the Tipperary native felt it allowed the eventual winners build a platform to create numerous scores in the second period.
“When they look back on it, Clare will be disappointed with their strategy on the Cork puck outs,” Sheedy stated.
“I just cannot get over why you would allow Anthony Nash ping a ball 30 or 40 yards to Damien Cahalane and let him then fire a ball straight into their inside forward line?
"I was very surprised to see that but for me, their puck out strategy and wides were madness.”
RTÉ anchor Michael Lyster pointed out two stewards and their unsuccessful attempts at keeping an elated horde of Cork supporters from entering the field shortly after the final whistle.
“The whole town was full of Cork today and they outnumbered Clare two or three to one in supporters I’d say,” Cyril Farrell replied.
“It does no harm to see them coming out on to the pitch and there is never any trouble between supporters anyway.
"Kieran Kingston has to be congratulated because when you look back at the game, Clare played very defensively.
“Cork kept their puck outs short and that meant that Damien Cahalane could go over the sweeper and reach a very good full forward line, all of them played well in there.
"It never looked Clare would win it because Cork were always a few points up, they knew they were going to win the puck outs.
“We said at the break how Clare hadn’t performed very well in the first half but there was a 20-minute period in the second half when they did push on and they did go for it,” Kilkenny legend Henry Shefflin said.
“As for Cork, it is only a couple of years ago since myself and Donal Og Cusack were talking about them (Cork) on the Sunday Game and ended up having a bit of a ‘bargy’ about it.
"Where was Cork hurling at? Donal showed me all the stats on minor, U21 and senior but the thing about it is, at that stage Cork were still winning U14, U15 and U16 competitions.
“Colm Spillane, Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Kingston and Luke Meade were all playing and winning in those teams at that stage.
"So I think the answer today is that they were coming through.
"Cork are never down for very long and I have to praise the management team of Kieran Kingston, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Pat Ryan and John Meyler.
“Each and every one of those guys are good Cork hurling people.
"What I think that backroom team shows is that they bring unity, togetherness and closeness.
"That all went when the strikes came to Cork hurling and a divide came between the supporters and the team.
"You look out on the field after today and everyone is together now driving Cork hurling forward at minor and senior level.”