Ring proud if disappointed after defeat to Tribesmen
Last Sunday in the bowels of Croke Park Cork minor manager Denis Ring had to bravely stand up and talk to a bank of journalists wondering just what it meant to him to be the manager of a side that just lost the All Ireland Hurling Final didn't shirk his responsibilities.
Ring had masterminded Cork's impressive season to that point but unfortunately on the day his side just ran out of gas against an impressive Galway side, however, he was in no way looking for excuses outside the quietest dressing room you are ever likely to witness.
"In fairness to Galway, even when they were struggling they were chipping away and chipping into our lead and they got good scores to keep themselves in the game. I think that was a crucial part of the game, from their perspective.
"You'd feel very sorry for our lads, they've put in a massive effort, huge commitment and it's not the result we wanted, obviously. A few marginal decisions overall maybe, one way or the other, there's slim margins between winning and losing. Maybe we had our chances and we didn't take them. They took theirs, that's the difference, at the end of the day.
"I said to them in our dressing-room that the worst thing you can do is forget today. You put the experience in your back pocket and bring it out when you're back up here again and you ensure that this is never going to happen to you again, and that you're not going to be defeated the next time.
"You must try to make this experience invaluable. Look on it as a positive, not a negative, and use it the next time you're here, because this experience cannot be bought."
Ring was attempting to be as positive as he could in the circumstances, however, it was clear that behind the ever willing tactician's eyes there was pain, that didn't stop him passing his view on the disallowed goal that some Cork people were suggesting was ruled out incorrectly.
"I don't know. In real time you don't have the luxury of seeing that. Look, that is the way it is, that is sport. Look Galway won, we can't begrudge Galway their victory."
It all looked to be going really well in the first half, but Ring could see there were issues even at that stage.
"We played really well in the first half, but we had unforced errors that could have pushed us on - having said that we really were in a good position and could have pushed on. We had five wides in the first half and a couple of them were unforced errors really but having said that we were in a good position - Galway are a good team."
While Ring had plenty good things to say about the winners he also had plenty positives for his own charges.
"They started out the campaign as young boys who were good hurlers and they ended up as a very formidable team of men who are very committed. We couldn't be prouder of them.
"You'd feel very sorry for the lads, they've put in a massive effort, huge commitment and it's not the result we wanted, obviously. A few marginal decisions overall maybe, one way or the other, there's slim margins between winning and losing. Maybe we had our chances and we didn't take them."
Ring may have seen his side ultimately lose but he was very complimentary of how both sides went at the game.
"The commitment and effort out there was brilliant. It was a real game you know, a real physical challenge that was played in the right spirit and in the second half they might have got a few ore decisions than we did that were marginal but we will have to look at the game again to see that.
"In fairness to Galway they took their chances got some very good scores and they were impressive out the field."
Ring is hugely experienced at dealing with hurling teams and there is no one better to get the youngsters heads up as they continue their respective hurling careers. Ring's charges ultimately couldn't end sixteen years of minor pain for Cork but that in no way should take away from his and their achievements this season.
Hopefully Ring will continue to be a source of knowledge to young inter-county hurlers coming through in the next few years as his work ethic and knowledge will play a major role on making Cork stars for the future.