Kieran Kingston: Cork now have to reset and close off the league final loss in time for championship

"We’ll have to review this tomorrow, recover, press the reset button and get ready for the start of the Leaving Cert in two weeks’ time.”
Kieran Kingston: Cork now have to reset and close off the league final loss in time for championship

Cork’s manager Kieran Kingston. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

WHILE the mocks might have ended badly, Cork manager Kieran Kingston has challenged his team to channel the disappointment in the best way before the real exams start.

Cork never led at any stage as they lost out by six points in Saturday night’s Allianz HL Division 1 final against Waterford in FBD Semple Stadium. However, with the Munster SHC campaign opening against Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in two weeks, there is no opportunity for navel-gazing.

“In a way, we might learn more from tonight than the other games in the league,” Kingston said.

“Tonight was very disappointing, no question about that in many aspects, but in a way the pre-Leaving Cert is over now. We’ll have to review this tomorrow, recover, press the reset button and get ready for the start of the Leaving Cert in two weeks’ time.”

Saying that and doing it are two different things, of course, but Kingston made the point that a poor final performance does not necessarily overshadow all of the earlier positives.

“If we had been beaten last week by Kilkenny by a point, we wouldn’t be here having this conversation tonight, we’d be planning for Limerick, and that’s the way you have to approach it,” he said.

Cork's Jack O'Connor and Waterford's Neil Montgomery. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Cork's Jack O'Connor and Waterford's Neil Montgomery. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

“We always said that we’d take each game in the league on its own merits. Getting to the final was obviously a bonus, getting to a second national in six or eight months for this group is a positive in terms of developing as a group but it’s disappointing that you didn’t get over the line in either of them.

“That’s obviously disappointing but that’s what we do – we have to reset and close off the league in the next couple of days and get ready for a massive campaign in the Munster championship in a couple of weeks’ time.

We’ll take from this game but also from the other games as well and look at the league overall rather than just tonight, or indeed any of the games we won, on an individual basis.”

Two goals in the space of a first-half minute gave Waterford a cushion that Cork were never able to fully erode, with the Rebels’ only goal in a 4-20 to 1-23 loss coming from Robbie O’Flynn right at the very end.

POSITIVES

Even so, there were some few positives to take from a frustrating night as well as from the competition as a whole, with Cork winning five and losing two of their seven games.

“Overall in the league, the league has been good to us,” Kingston said.

“We got to introduce a few new players and we got to see players in different positions – rotate our squad and our team and that is important heading into a Munster championship.

“This week you had a few guys challenged with sickness and things like that and then you are going to have fellas finding themselves in different positions in championship.

“The positives tonight were some of our players stood up well. I thought we reacted well to each goal and tried to come back into the game but suddenly your hit with another sucker punch. I always thought we needed a goal to get right back into the game and although it came it didn’t come at the right time.

I have to be proud of the lads and their approach to the league after the All Ireland final – for the character they have shown throughout the league and the character they showed tonight.”

Dáire O’Leary was the only enforced absentee on Saturday, having been forced off at half-time in the semi-final win over Kilkenny. He will also miss the opening stages of the championship.

“He has had a scan and he has a broken bone in his foot,” Kingston said.

“We will have to see during the week where he is at but he certainly he won’t be available for the first round and might be too soon for the second round.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more