Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy appeared heart-broken following his side’s heavy defeat to Tipperary on Sunday. And, the St Finbarr’s man admitted the comprehensive nature of the defeat with a sigh.
“On the day we were comprehensively out-played in many positions on the field. I think that when you are playing of Tipperary’s quality you can’t hope to win the game with that situation,” Jimmy Barry-Murphy said.
“A lot of our players were comprehensively out-played on the day. I think that when you are playing a team of Tipperary’s quality and the ball is being cleared out by the Tipperary backline like it was today - their physicality was a problem for us as well today. They harassed us and forced us into errors as well. With the ball coming into your defence as regularly as it was you are going to concede. That was a problem today.”
Five weeks had passed since Cork had annexed the Munster championship at the expense of Limerick in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Barry-Murphy, however, was not prepared to use those intervening weeks as an excuse for this defeat.
“I’m not going to use that as an excuse really. I felt coming into the game that we were in good shape. Training had gone very, very well. The Munster final victory we felt would be a boost to our confidence, but just on the day we were not at the races,” Jimmy Barry-Murphy added.
“I thought that two points down at half-time flattered us really. Even though we were playing poorly in the first half we were hoping for a goal which might give the crowd a lift and give us a lift. We never gave the crowd a reason to get behind us today. So from that point of view that was disappointing. Look, the lads are bitterly disappointed that they didn’t give their best display out there today. It’s always disappointing not to give of your best,” Barry-Murphy added.
“It’s no fault of the lads. They have been great for us over the past couple of years and done the county proud. We have had some great days, but unfortunately today was just a poor one. That happens in sport.”
Having played with the wind during the opening half Cork trailed 0-8 to 1-7 at the break. Jimmy Barry-Murphy, however, believed there was still a chance that the Rebels could turn the game around.
“I certainly did,” Jimmy Barry-Murphy told the Tipperary Star.
“There was a bit of a breeze blowing into the Hill 16 end and I thought that would favour us a bit. I felt that we were well in the game. We were flattered to be in that positions with a lot of our players not playing at the level to which they would play normally. We were only two points down and we were very pleasantly surprised to be in that situation, but the second half didn’t get any better to be honest.
“We have won the Munster title this year, but it doesn’t feel like much of a consolation today to be honest. In Cork you are judged on All-Ireland success and that is the bottom line. We have to accept that now. We didn’t win the All-Ireland. They are young men with great futures ahead of them and I think that Cork hurling is in a reasonably healthy state. We just have to keep working hard and get back to where we want to be.” Barry-Murphy said with a sigh.
The Cork manager also refused to lay the blame for the defeat at the door of stage fright.
“I don’t think there was any question of that really. I can’t see that it was and I don’t want to use it as an excuse either,” Jimmy Barry-Murphy insisted.
“We were here last year and we have played here before. We did ourselves proud here last year against Dublin and Clare so I don’t think it was (stage fright).
“I think Tipp’s physicality seemed to be a problem for us. They won a lot of ball and they were stronger on the ball. They turned over ball on us and they used the ball very well. They were attacking in situations where they were able to find their men and they are very, very good hurlers. They are a very good team I think. I was hopeful coming up here today, but not confident, certainly. They (Tipperary) are brilliant players, they are class players. Paudie Maher was outstanding again there today. If you allow those players to dominate the game on you then you are not going to beat them. Simple as that.”