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Cork boss: 'Those players, they're gutted in there, they're really hurting'

A second defeat in Munster for Kieran Kingston’s team.

Kieran Kingston with Jack O'Connor.
Kieran Kingston with Jack O'Connor.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CORK BOSS KIERAN Kingston expressed his disappointment as their championship aspirations took a serious hit with another defeat in the Munster round-robin today.

Cork’s prospects of reaching the All-Ireland series were severely damaged by the loss to Clare with Kingston admitting their start to the game proved costly.

“We were in control of our own destiny to a degree and after today we lost that control. So it goes without saying we’re massively disappointed.

“We had a bad start. We were really nervous in the first 20 minutes and we made some simple, elementary mistakes. That was disappointing because you give a team the calibre of Clare that lead and try and you’re always struggling.

We have to hold our hands up, on the day we were beaten by the better team, no question about that. I’m not going to make any excuses for that. On the day, they were the better team and they deserved that. I know we got it back to two points in the end and had we a minute or two we might have got another one.

“For us the positives are we kept at it, kept fighting hard. When you break it down, limiting them to one shot on goal for the whole game.

“We’ve been criticised as you all know for conceding too many goals in the last few games. Today was a bonus, they had one shot on goal but we conceded a lot of points from further out the field and they compensated for that. They got a lot of long-range scores and were deserving winners. I think the first 20 minutes we lost the game.”

Cork’s style of play involved more direct deliveries than their performance in the comprehensive opening defeat a fortnight ago to Limerick.

“We got turned over quite a bit in that game coming out from the back,” admitted Kingston.

“We conceded a couple of goals and they were things you were obviously going to work on. Things that don’t go well for you. They were certainly better today. Trying to get a balance between evolving teams as they change the style, when to run and work it through the lines, and when to let it go, and have the players that can do both. That’s the mix and match at times, you got to vary it depending on the opposition.”

The Cork boss conceded that the confidence of their setup has been impacted by a sequence of recent losses.

mark-coleman-dejected-after-the-game Mark Coleman dejected after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“You get to an All-Ireland final as we did a year ago, there wasn’t any expectation around the group. You lose it obviously and you have a good league campaign and you get to another final, I think expectation increases among everyone and that’s understandable.

“With that comes plaudits when you win and criticism when you lose. We all know that, that comes with the territory and you know that because you are writing it, or getting people to write it. After the Limerick game and all that happened in the two weeks since, what was said by different people has affected players as well. People are entitled to their opinions. I thought we showed a bit of nervousness on the back of that


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“Pressure is a privilege in this environment. If you couldn’t deal with criticism or couldn’t take pressure, you shouldn’t be in this game. I’ve a backroom team here over 20 people and we’ve 35 on the panel, they’re extremely hard working people. We all do this on a voluntary basis and we give our heart and soul to it, as do the players and that’s the way it should be.

“We’re proud to do it and we’re proud to be involved with Cork hurling. I know those players, they’re gutted in there, they’re really hurting, as we are.

“But we’re proud to be involved with Cork. Any pressure, any outside noise ain’t going to change how we feel about that.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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