Cork never led at any stage and it’s arguable that they could have been more than three points behind at half-time.
While they deserve credit for bouncing back in the first half and continuing to ask questions of Kilkenny even in injury time when playing with a player fewer, it’s easy to see how costly it was to allow the home side gain a foothold, even allowing for the fact that the wind was strong.
The silver lining is that there are five weeks in which to learn from this.
The Galmoy man showed his dead-ball accuracy when Maynooth University ran UCC close in the Fitzgibbon Cup at the Mardyke in January and he was superb here, scoring 1-13 and not registering a single wide.
His output leaves him with a total of 2-65 after six league games and he will be instrumental if they are to deny Limerick the league title in a fortnight.
After a long-range Shane Kingston point on 42 minutes, Cork trailed by 1-14 to 0-14 but Kilkenny added an unanswered 1-2 before the visitors scored again while Eoin Downey was sent off.
It was always going to be an uphill battle for Cork after that, as admirable as their continued battling was. At the top level, minimising losses is key to success and Cork will look back on how the penalty was followed by a sending-off – as harsh as it was to single out one player – and then the cheap concession of two more points.