Would it be mere mischief-making to suggest that Gerald McCarthy and his now surplus-to-requirements ’09 Cork hurlers boarded the plane destined for their La Manga training camp on Monday with the result from Nowlan Park not exactly death metal to their ears.

“Our ambition is that the players will come back stronger, fitter and better hurlers,” said the erstwhile manager before heading in the Spanish sunspot for a pre-booked trip that apparently couldn’t be cancelled.

Waterford fans aren’t exactly in a position to be laughing up their sleeves, but, even given the context, it can’t be overlooked that Cork’s 27-point trimming by the All-Ireland champions was six goals worse than the last time the teams met; and sure that was Gerald’s fault.

“It was savage, really,” acknowledged new Rebels boss Denis Walsh. “The physicality more than anything else… I couldn’t see any weakness out there…

“I took my first training session on Thursday and I said to them that I would be offering no excuses whatsoever and that you just get out and get on with it, and we were just asking them to work, work, work as hard as they could.

“There are a few fellas who are very flat at the minute and I think you can appreciate that everything has taken its toll over the last few months.”

Sorry Denis, but sounds like an excuse to me.