THE pain was etched on Cork defender Laura Tracey’s face after a one-point loss at Croke Park to rivals Kilkenny.
“I’m actually devastated it’s very, very difficult to be leaving Croke Park for the second year in a row without silverware,” she said.
The Killeagh star was at a loss to explain how they ended up six behind before scoring themselves.
“It’s very hard to really put your finger on our slow start, all of us played here in the league final and again two weeks ago in the semi-final.
“Was it nerves? I’m not sure really, most of us have played in a lot of finals, so really I just cannot figure it out.
“We were training really well leading up to the game, but I guess it ended up costing us today as we were chasing it thanks to our slow start.”
Fiona Keating grabbed a goal and Cork went in at half-time level after a disappointing opening 20 minutes.
“We showed huge character to be level at half-time and we possibly could have been a point or two ahead. In the second half, I felt we were dominant, but the goal gave them a boost but we got back on level again, but fair play to them, they won a free and it was enough to get them over the line.”
She acknowledged Kilkenny’s strength and their battling qualities.
“You can never be far enough ahead of Kilkenny and you have to push on when you get ahead of them and when we went two points up with six minutes remaining they kept at it and they got the lucky break and the goal that put them ahead.
“We came back at them again and probably could have got an equaliser but it wasn’t to be.”
With the second last play of the game, Cork could have grabbed a late leveller but Aishling Thompson’s shot went agonisingly wide.
“Fair play to Aishling she worked herself into a great position and went for it, she was brave enough to take the shot and it was just so disappointing for her that it went narrowly wide.
“She has given so much to Cork camogie and she showed huge bravery to go for it.”