Dust yourself down and get on with life!
That was more or less the reaction from Kilkenny CBS team official, Niall Tyrrell following Saturday’s defeat in the All-Ireland colleges’ senior hurling final against Dungarvan Colleges, writes John Knox.
The James Street School bit the dust for the second successive year in the decider, so the drive to add to their lone All-Ireland success of 1981 will continue into another season, at least.
“That is sport,” suggested Mr Tyrrell, who looks after team affairs with fellow teachers, Matthew Ruth and Gerard Morrissey.
“It is a tough day when you lose an All-Ireland,” he continued. “That is two in-a-row for some of the players to lose. That is hard. It was very disappointing for everyone.
“It is hard to know where to go from here. We were confident coming into the game, but we just didn’t perform on the day. You couldn’t say a word against the backs.
“They were incredible all the way, as they have been all season, but it just didn’t happen for the forwards.”
In suggestinging that, Mr Tyrrell said fair credit must be given to the Dungarvan back. They were a very fine unit, he felt.
“We knew coming into the game that they had a serious half-back line,” he explained. “They stood up again. They were fantastic. Fair play to them! We have to congratulate Dungarvan on a very fine win.
“They are a brilliant team, and they were very well drilled. They are very fast and physical. They are in a couple of competitions and you could tell they are doing a lot of work together.
“They are in the football as well. They won the All-Ireland C title in football, I think. Dungarvan CBS on their own are in the All-Ireland B colleges final as well. They are a very united, close knit group.
“You could see that in their hurling, that they have done an awful lot of work together. They were finding each other. No ball was wasted. Every ball was used well. That counted at the end of the day.”
Perhaps, he thought, some of the CBS lads might have been affected by the big occasion, the challenge of the big day.
“Some of our lads are still very young, even though some of them have been beaten in two finals,” Mr Tyrrell continued. “Eleven of the team are underage again next year. Only two of the players are in sixth year.
“We finished up with three or foul lads who are 15 years of age. You have to take that into consideration that they are only young lads.”
He admitted that the CBS were slow out of the blocks.
“All week we tried to focus on getting a good start,” he revealed. “We knew if we were to win we needed to get a good start. When we didn’t get that start, it was a hard day for us. It was a bit worrying the way we were being out-playing during the opening 10 minutes or so.
“If we are searching for a positive, it has to be that we have so many young players. Last year we looked for positives too after being beaten. Nine were under-age then. He we are again, but we will drive on.
“It is a tough thing to have to deal with, defeat in an All-Ireland final. You put so much into the effort to try and win, and then things just don’t happen for you. That can be hard to take.
“They are young lads. Although they are hurting today, the pain will go away. The joy and good memories from winning the Leinster championship and league will stay with them forever.
“It was only the seventh time we won Leinster. It is not like we win it every year. It has still been a great year for us. This is the first time we have been beaten this season.
“I know that the players will feel disappointed. They will get over this. We will be back.
“We needed something big to help us when we got on top. We were finding scores hard to come by. If we were going to win, we needed a goal in the second half. It didn’t happen, but we are still very, very proud of the players.”