Cork selector Eoin O’Neill attempted to downplay the county’s relegation to Division Two, claiming management “know a little bit more about our fellas after today than we do by getting to a league semi-final or final and getting hammered”.
O’Neill said Cork had paid the ultimate price for their 18-point mauling byRoscommon in late February.
The Rebels finished with a score difference of -16 which was inferior to Donegal, Mayo and Monaghan, all of whom finished on six points.
“It is kind of funny two teams we beat are with us [on six points] and we are the people going down.
“We are paying the price for one very bad display, in terms of the scoring side of it. We have won three games and lost four. Kerry lost four games and stayed up in recent years. Luck isn’t on our side today.”
Cork tried 34 players over the course of their seven games this spring and O’Neill suggested such experimentation had worked against them in terms of the final Division 1 standings.
“As a new management team this year, we tried a lot of things, we tried 34 players. Are we paying a price for that? Maybe we are.
“We are in a place now where we have learned an awful lot and we are happy with that.
“You have to take the positives out of these things.
“We know exactly where we are. We have tried a lot of young fellas. We have eight new fellas on this squad this year and people don’t realise that. Nothing has been said about it. I am not giving that as an excuse, but that is just the way it is.”
As for their fourth defeat of the league campaign, O’Neill pointed to Cork’s desperate opening at Austin Stack Park, Tralee.
The visitors went scoreless for a 17-minute period, during which they conceded eight points.
“The start was the winning and the losing of the game for us. Kerry got a very good start and came at us very strongly. Colm O’Neill’s penalty was a big score [approaching half-time]. It gave us a bit of a lifeline and something to work on. I thought for 20-odd minutes of the second-half that we were the better team.
“We just died then a small bit, Kerry got a couple of scores to kick on.
“If you don’t play for the full 70 minutes against a team like Kerry, you will get caught.”
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