CORK hurling captain Kieran ‘Fraggy’ Murphy vowed he and his team-mates will “regroup and go again” following their defeat on Saturday night in the Munster final replay.
Waterford’s three-point victory means the Rebels are out again Sunday against Antrim in the quarter-final, and Murphy was focusing on the positives yesterday.
“It was a very disappointed dressing-room last Saturday night, as you might expect, and we had a long discussion about things. We’ll just have to regroup and assess things and go again. We have a great chance to make an All-Ireland semi-final this weekend and we’ll be trying to make the most of it.”
Murphy said it was encouraging that some of the younger panellists got to play on Saturday evening. “After a couple of days you get over the disappointment of losing a Munster final and you’re able to take some positives out of the game. It’s good that some of the newer lads got game time, and game time in a big championship match as well.
“It’s a big game, an All-Ireland quarter-final, and ideally you’d like another week or two to prepare for it. Obviously when you have a few injuries, that becomes more of an issue again.”
Injuries to Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, Jerry O’Connor and Shane O’Neill have forced Denis Walsh’s hand for the weekend trip to headquarters but Murphy has confidence in the depth of the Cork panel.
“It’s just a run of bad luck we’re having, all the injuries, and it’s very disappointing for those players as well, having trained so hard all year only to get hurt when the season picks up. But then that’s why you carry a strong panel, and the lads who came in showed up well. When all is said and done there was only one score in it after two games and extra time: that makes it disappointing to lose, obviously, but it shows that there’s not much in it.”
Murphy called on the Cork support to follow the side to Croke Park for the clash with Dinny Cahill’s side.
“We’ve always had great support down the years, they’ve always travelled in numbers for us and I hope they’ll be with us again this weekend,’’ he said. “A lot of people waited for us on Saturday night to wish us well when we left the dressing-room. We’re coming from a low and we’ll need all the support we can get on the day against Antrim. They had a very good win against Dublin and they’ll be mad for it. We’ll just have to stand up and be counted on Sunday.”
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