'Terrible disappointment' for Clonakilty after heartbreaking defeat

For a group appearing in their first Cork final, Haulie O’Neill’s Clonakilty charges displayed no nerves or fear in taking the game to the favourites from the off
'Terrible disappointment' for Clonakilty after heartbreaking defeat

Clonakilty's goalkeeper Mark White dejected after the game. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Having played exactly as they wanted to, having dictated the terms of engagement for long stretches, and having emptied themselves across the hour’s fare, the "terrible disappointment" for Clon is that still they came up short.

For a group appearing in their first Cork final, Haulie O’Neill’s Clonakilty charges displayed no nerves or fear in taking the game to the favourites from the off. Three times they led this final and on a further eight occasions were they level, the last of which was as late as the second minute of second-half injury-time.

So when Clon selector Eoin Ryan emerged from the dressing-room to speak with the waiting reporters, there was a clear mix of emotions. There was justified pride at having shown up and obvious heartache in having come out the wrong side of this battle.

“The first thing I want to say is I am so proud of the lads for the work they put in and the effort they gave,” Ryan began.

“There weren't many people who gave us a chance coming up here today, but we knew ourselves that we had a chance if we performed. And we did perform, in fairness. They left everything out there. They showed great heart and spirit. I could ask no more of them.

“It is terrible disappointment. It is a tough way to lose, but you have to take the defeats with the victories.” Given the tightness of proceedings, they’ll be termed the unluckiest of losers. For Ryan's part, he believes Clon “deserved” more than a one-point defeat.

“I thought we deserved something out of it for the effort we put in. Look, you have to accept it and get on with it, and hopefully, we'll learn from it and get back here again.

“It has been a great year for the lads, we are so proud of them and the effort they put in. We played the way we wanted to play. We actually played the game on our terms, I thought. That is just the way it goes.

"It isn't by fluke we got here. We proved that today. We put up a good show out there. There was nothing in it, it could have gone either way.”

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