LIMERICK manager Billy Lee pinpointed Cork's greater experience as one of the reasons behind his side's season-ending defeat on Saturday.
“I don't think the final score reflected the game, but I felt the same after the Waterford match,” he said.
“We still have to find certain things at this level and there is definitely another level we have to find.
“League is at the level you're at and while we were in the game we still lost by eight points.
“You get punished by better quality teams and the difference between divisions 2 and 3 was there for all to see, particularly in decision making on the ball.
“You're under pressure mentally before you even start and it's trying to handle it then.
“Giving the ball away easily in attack is one of those aspects that we need to work on in the future and expending a lot of energy in coming back to defend is another.
“That's something we must work on, too, but still I thought our lads lasted the pace very well and we're very proud of their efforts.”
Limerick could have been excused for thinking it was going to be 2019 all over again after John O'Rourke bundled in the only goal after just two minutes.
“It's a measure of the progress we've made in the last couple of years that we were able to bounce back from conceding the early goal.
“The same thing happened in Páirc Uí Rinn and the floodgates just opened up in front of us with Cork beating us by a cricket score.
“We lost our keeper Donal O'Sullivan, who is a key member of our strategy, but Aaron O'Sullivan slotted in seamlessly in his first game for Limerick.”
Cork pounced for three early goals that evening to record a comfortable victory, but it was a much tighter affair on this occasion.
“It's been a good season for Limerick football all the same."