JBM left to rue Cork’s failure to create clear goal chances

Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy pointed to Galway’s dominance early in the second half as being crucial in the Tribesmen’s five-point win in yesterday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

“They got on top of us just after half-time and we found it hard to break down their half-back line,” said the Cork manager.

“We found it hard to get back into it but we played with great spirit and effort. I couldn’t fault the players on that score, they were magnificent, but that was a crucial time.

“After that we needed a goal to peg them back and we couldn’t get that goal. Patrick [Cronin] had the best chance, a great effort, but it went just over the crossbar. We didn’t create many goal chances, which was disappointing.

“With seven minutes to go there were two points in it but we had a free went just wide, Niall [McCarthy] had a point effort that went just wide. If we had scored those we would have put the pressure back on Galway again, but we just found scores harder to come by than Galway.

“I think we all learned a good bit from the year. It shows we have a good bit to go yet to beat the best teams in the country and to match up with them.”

Barry-Murphy was full of praise for his side, particularly the defence.

“I thought we played very well on the day, I thought our defence coped very, very well. Galway have some superb players and I thought Brian Murphy’s marking job on Joe Canning was magnificent. He did as good a job as any player could.

“All our defence played well. After playing football last week I thought Eoin Cadogan was outstanding — I was very proud of all of them.”

He agreed that the defensive match-ups had worked well for Cork in the first half.

“I thought so, we had identified our best man-markersfor their players — I thought Stephen McDonnell did very well on Damien Hayes and Brian Murphy was magnificent on Joe Canning, asI’ve said. I couldn’t have asked any more from theplayers.”

Barry-Murphy was reluctant to evaluate Galway’s chances of the All-Ireland — “It’s hard to say. I presume they’ll go into the final as outsiders against Tipperary or Kilkenny but they have an outstanding team and some great individuals,’’ — preferring to concentrate on the positives from a Cork perspective.

“We’ve introduced a good few young players, and getting to an All-Ireland semi-final is difficult, but we did that. Getting to the league final was good as well and the players will have learned from that, but we have a lot of work to do to get back to where we want to be. We’re aware of that.”

Barry-Murphy said it was “too early” to talk about retirements.

“I know that’s a stock answer, but we’ll have to wait and see. The so-called older players were magnificent. Sean Óg and Tom Kenny were magnificent in the half-back line and did themselves proud.”

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