Cork hurlers gracious in defeat
By John Harrington
Cork selector Pat Hartnett was gracious in defeat after his team’s defeat to Waterford in today’s All-Ireland SHC Semi-Final.
He revealed their preparations for the match had been disrupted somewhat by injury, but insisted that Waterford deserved to win the match.
“First, I’d like to say the better team won on the day, that has to be acknowledged," said Hartnett.
“For a period of time in second half we were two points up and the game got away from us so we wouldn’t like to focus on the red card, the better team won on the day.
“From where we came from just to acknowledge Alan Cadogan had been quite sick with cellulitis, Luke Meade had a broken finger that’s not an excuse that’s just facts.
“Luke Meade got a pin removed about a week ago but I think the better team won today.
“In certain areas we didn’t do ourselves justice so we have no complaints."
Damien Cahalane’s second-half sending off for a second yellow card was obviously a key moment in the match, but Hartnett didn’t want to be drawn on it and had nothing but praise for his full-back.
“I saw the first one I didn’t see the second one,” he said. “There’s no one more disappointed but in saying that he has been phenomenal all year for us.
“I thought he was a genuine leader for us and these things happen and I wouldn’t like to focus or comment on it really.
“The game was swinging to and fro. And there was opportunities on both sides. I don't know the wide count but at all times the team that makes the fewer mistakes tends to win.
“I don’t know how many wides we had but at half time not having played to our best we were still in the game but again Waterford were justifiably the winners today.”
Their year had ended in disappointment, but Hartnett still believes this young Cork team has made significant progress in 2017 after winning a Munster Championship against expectations.
“It is what it is really,” he said. “We trained exceptionally hard and I thought the coaching was excellent this year.
“I think from where we came from last year if you see what our baseline and starting point was to this year, but that is poor consolation to dressing room inside now.
“I don’t think we did ourselves justice today and that is disappointing but the effort was there'd the game went to and fro and it didn’t go our way today but Waterford were the better team on the day and they finished very strongly.”