Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy wasn't best pleased last night. Ken Sutton/INPHO

JBM on Cork's disappointing opener - 'We made too many mistakes'

In the winners enclosure last night, Brian Cody was satisifed.

JIMMY BARRY-MURPHY didn’t try to conceal his true feelings.

Three years ago on the opening league night of his second coming as Cork manager, there was a carnival atmosphere in Páirc Uí Rinn. Conor Lehane announced himself on the senior stage in dazzling fashion as Cork blitzed Waterford. All was right in the Rebel hurling world.

On Saturday night represented a stark contrast. Cork were only two points adrift at the final whistle but the lacklustre nature of their second-half showing threw up several issues for their manager.

“We made too many mistakes. A lot of our players all over the field were beaten too many times to the ball. They won breaking ball, they won ball in the air over us and I think from that point of view, they were well deserved winners.

“We lost the third quarter. We didn’t play that well in the first-half either. We were just hanging in there. I’d just have to look at it again but overall you’d have to be very disappointed with our overall display.  I wouldn’t be happy with a lot of the players.”

The flashes of fight that Cork showed in the closing stages offered some hope to Barry-Murphy.

“They showed a bit of spirit certainly. We could have snuck it but we wouldn’t have deserved it. The lads showed great spirit at least, that’s something we can be positive about.

“We’ve worked hard to get to the level we thought we’d be at tonight but I have to say overall, all over the field, we weren’t happy tonight.”

A bunch of Cork’s players had Fitzgibbon Cup duties over the past week but Barry-Murphy was in no mood to offer that up as a case for defence here. The notion of Kilkenny being in transition was one he was subscribing to either.

“I don’t accept that. Anyone looking at the game and anyone who knows anything about the game, would realise they’ve a great pool of talent in Kilkenny. They’ve been very successful at underage level, minor and U21 level.

“All these players have played in Croke Park and have played in league before. They’re not bad players. This myth about them being weaker tonight, well they’d a lot of players missing but it shows now they’re always going to be contenders.”

In the winners enclosure, Kilkenny’s Brian Cody was satisfied.

“The reality is that all the players who played have been around the panel for quite a while. We talk about our panel more than we talk about our team. We don’t have a team that’s cast in stone, the Kilkenny senior team was playing tonight and that’s it.

“There’s no such thing as a fella guaranteed to play, and the lads played with that kind of realisation, that there’s a fierce opportunity there for them. it was a good performance.

“There’s no point in coming down to play Cork on a Saturday evening and not giving one hundred per cent. That shouldn’t be mysterious, to be honest. The honesty was there, the workrate was there.”

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