IT WAS a bad day for the respective minor football champions as Cork and Tyrone exited and the beaten provincial finalists, Derry and Kerry, progressed to the semi-finals.
A disappointed Cork boss, Michael O’Brien, said his charges simply never got going in the 0-12 to 0-6 loss, a bit like last season, when losing to Tyrone.
“We seemed a bit flat and it was the second year in a row where we found it hard to deal with an Ulster team,” he said.
Cork only trailed by three points at the break and were still in the game, according to O’Brien.
“We found it very hard to penetrate and make the opportunities and the opportunities we did get weren’t really scoreable which was unfortunate.
“Apart from being a bit flat, Derry didn’t allow us play though it’s now only just after the game so it’s hard to know really.
“You’d need time afterwards with a clear head to fully analyse what went exactly went wrong, but this is two years in-a-row now that Ulster teams have got the better of us.”
It was a far cry from the euphoria of accounting for Kerry in the Munster final by 11 points.
“This team has experienced tough lows and big highs and this is another low again. We just have to learn from it and move on. That’s all we can do.
“Derry are a very good team who are capable of producing big scores like getting 0-16 in their last two games.
“But, we just weren’t able to score and were left with only six points in the end.
“We have to ask ourselves as a management team could we have done anything differently to get the lads up to speed. Yet, Derry played exceptionally well and that’s what you have to accept,” O’Brien concluded.
Kerry pipped Tyrone by 0-8 to 1-4, scoring only twice in the second-half through half-backs Eddie Healy after 37 minutes and Fionn Murphy’s 45m free three minutes from the end.
Tyrone opened the scoring with a Caolan Donnelly palmed goal after seven minutes, but Kerry settled to lead by 0-6 to 1-2 at the interval with captain Cormac Dillon contributing 0-3.
The sides were level twice before Kerry full-forward Donagh O’Sullivan edged his side in front with the closing score of the half.
Keeper Shay O’Meara rescued the Kingdom with a superb save to deny Donnelly a second goal in the 40th minute before Kerry lost Niall Collins to a black card moments later.
They restricted Tyrone to just one score, a Ronan Molly point, their first from play, after 47 minutes and while Donnelly added a second in injury time, Kerry hung on.