'We are here again' - Cork heartbreak after second straight All-Ireland defeat

Matthew Twomey bemoaned another slow start by the Rebels.

Cork's Katrina Mackey and Hannah Looney.
Cork's Katrina Mackey and Hannah Looney.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

HAVING FALLEN AT the final hurdle for the second successive year, taking part in an epic contest was scant consolation for Cork manager Matthew Twomey. 

They fell by three points to Galway in last year’s thrilling decider and only a point separated them from Kilkenny in another throughout enjoyable game today. 

“It is no consolation, we told that last year and we were told that and we are here again,” said Twomey. “We just know what we have to do now get a flipping win. But the players are immense, I’m so proud of them I’m extremely proud to be their manager.

“All you want off a team is to give it their all and they have done that numerous times over the years. In my reign they have done it every game given their all.

“We lost a few players during the years we have a panel and I know Galway and Kilkenny are the same they lost players but just talking about Cork they are huge losses. We had a lot of inexperienced players out there as well who will learn massively from this.”

Midfielder Ashling Thompson missed a last-gasp chance to equalise, seeing her 65th minute effort sail narrowly wide seconds before the final whistle was blown.

“I was thinking she’s the right person to have the ball to be honest with you,” said Twomey.

“Like if you were to give anyone on the team a ball like that it would have been Ashling. It just went wide, she had the courage to take it on and have a go off it and we worked a great move to get her into position but it was hard.”

It took Cork 22 minutes to score in the semi-final and they went 20 minutes before opening their account today. Twomey was baffled by those slow starts.

“What we can’t fathom ourselves is the start again. I don’t know, because we didn’t do it all year and to do it in a semi final and an All Ireland final is just unreal.

“And we had a couple of opportunities that was the thing, before we scored we had an opportunity for two goals but we just took the wrong option again which is criminal in games like this.

“We find it very disappointing because I can’t pinpoint the start again, to go 20 minutes without a score again, there’s no logical reason, we thought it was a freak thing with the Waterford game but was so proud of the players, the character they showed to come back and be level at half time.”

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They recovered well and led heading into the final few minutes before Kilkenny struck for a goal. 

“On the 54th minute I looked up at the clock and you are two points up and you are kind of saying, ‘Is this our day?’ We are still trying to do the right things and then you get a break like that with the goal and they got their gander up and it was very hard to claw it back.

“Fair play to Kilkenny they are an awesome team when they get into a position like that.

“We remained calm at half time and tried to bring the process into it, the second half was nip and tuck and then to go two points up you should be finishing out the game but that’s it.

He concluded, “They did die in their boots and I couldn’t be more proud of them but I am absolutely gutted.” 

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Croke Park

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