With Waterford manager Peter Queally not in a talking mindset after so crushing a reversal, it was left to selector MacDara Mac Donncha to field the most immediate post-match question: where did it all go wrong?
“We didn’t see that coming at half-time,” said MacDara, well-known to GAA fans with his commentary work for TG4. “We’d had three decent chances at goal in the first half and we didn’t take any of them, maybe that would have given us a cushion, but look there’s no arguments…and after their second goal we were always going to be struggling. It’s awfully disappointing.”
MacDara added: “Look, I know people will be criticising the way we were playing and the style we were playing, but the players had done a lot of work – it’s just awfully disappointing. Nobody trains and nobody prepares to go out like that. Days like that happen – and there’s a word springing to mind now that you just couldn’t print.”
Prefacing what he next said as “not being an excuse,” Mac Donncha stated: “The reality is that today is the first day that those 15 players went out together. When you’ve 11 players involved (with the senior panel), it’s very difficult to get them together, that’s just the way it was.
“Of course it could have been worse as they could have been playing last Saturday evening in a (senior) qualifier but we still didn’t have a chance to play a game with those players…I think really, to be quite honest with you if you have to have some co-ordination, then the best way to do it is to have the senior management also looking after the Under-21s.”
Tellingly, he continued: “Then you don’t have any conflict, you’d have better co-ordination because it’s not there at the moment.”
Admitting that he expected Waterford to see off Cork, MacDara MacDonnchadh stated: “One of our big problems is that we were absolutely crucified in the air – their half-backs, their midfield and half-forwards dominated us in the air and if you don’t have primary possession it’s very difficult to win a game… the players in there are hurting, they know they’re a lot better than that but that’s it, we’ve no second chance now. We’re gone.”