Cork manager John Meyler has admitted that his side must come away from Limerick next week with a win if they are to save their season.
The reigning Munster champions travel to the home of All Ireland champions in the second round of the Munster round-robin series following their 2-28 to 1-24 loss to Tipperary in Pairc Ui Chaoimh yesterday.
“Seven days”, said Meyler in a matter-of-fact tone following the game.
“That’s the beauty of the Munster Championship, the match is over and you just need to re-organise and focus on Limerick now next week. We’re away to Limerick and we need to get a win, that’s basically it.”
A second loss would dash Cork’s hopes for three Munster titles in a row and leave them with a serious fight on their hands to qualify for the All Ireland series.
It’s a stark contrast from last season when Cork dominated Clare in the opening round while Tipperary were left fighting for their lives following their loss to Limerick. Two draws and one loss later, the Premier County exited the competition but Meyler believes it was that experience that focused them even more.
“They were hungry after losing out in the three in Munster last year and that focus, that hunger was really there – that wasn’t going to happen a second time.”
Tipperary dominated the majority of the game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh following an early goal from Seamus Callanan after two minutes. Pointed frees from Patrick Horgan kept Cork within touching distance but they failed to push on in the second half.
John Grath’s goal in the 49th minute effectively sealed Tipperary’s win, although Seamus Harnedy hit the net for Cork with five minutes remaining in normal time.
Meyler had no excuses for Cork’s performance following the game and was quick to praise his opponents.
“Tipperary were more fluent, sharper, more mobile, better support play than us today. They looked extremely hungry, they got a very good start with the goal and got a good advantage on us in the first half. But we brought it back to a point at half-time.
“I thought we’d get in at half-time and we’d re-organise, back to the basics and get it right but they came out in the second half and they really drove on again. That second goal they got really finished us off.
“I felt with Seamus’ goal that we were back in it and then there were three or four points in it. Hoggy was held up, it could have been a free in, free out, it was a free out. Tipp were just more fluent and hungrier than us.
“There’s experience there of winning All Ireland’s with the Mahers, the two McGraths are two really, really good players who have been there, done that and then you have Liam and Eamon O’Shea on the sideline so that bit of experience.”