A BITTERLY disappointed Cork captain Paul Kerrigan summed up the mood in the dressing-room after crushing Munster final loss, while also acknowledging Kerry were superior on the day.
“I thought the way we started both halves was very disappointing and it killed us really. They went four up at the start of the game and then at the start of the second-half they hit five before we got on a point and you can’t give any side, not to mind the likes of Kerry leads like that.
“At the start of the second-half we couldn’t get the ball out of defence and they went from 11 points to 16 very quickly and we were really chasing the game after that.
“We also had a couple of goal chances just after that and I know the gap was pretty big at that stage, but it didn’t feel like it. I just felt if we could have taken one of those chances it would have made a huge difference and given us a bit of confidence.
“Ian Maguire had one in the first half and myself and Tomás Clancy had the first two in the second and for a team like us, we need those opportunities to go in, especially when you are playing down here against Kerry.
“But in fairness to them they are playing at a higher level than us (in the league) and it showed out there today. We had a few fellas go off with injuries and we finished with 14 men, so the pace was pretty quick.
“You need to be at your best against them as they are one of the top two teams in the country at the moment and our scoring efficiency wasn’t as good as it should have been.
“Starting is a big thing in games like these and this is something we are going to have to work on ahead of the qualifier now. We didn’t start well today and can’t afford to do the same the next day or our season will be over.
“But once we started running at them we got a bit of joy out of it and it worked for us. But also, just like all Cork and Kerry games, breaks are a big thing around the middle of the park.
“They always have big men in there and even though we competed well we didn’t pick up enough of the breaking ball, again something we need to sort for a few weeks time.
“Having to make the substitutions we needed defensively didn’t help either as it limited our options of bringing on fresh legs up front when we needed to.
“But look at the end of the day they played with a higher intensity and deserved to win,” concluded Paul.