Is Cork's darkest hour just before the dawn?
It's a grim week for Cork football as it tries to figure out what went so calamitously wrong last Sunday.
Brian Cuthbert and Co certainly have much to reflect on before the Championship, including how to relaunch the season. It's not impossible either as the following examples show.
In football, Kerry won the 2009 All-Ireland after losing the Munster semi-final replay to Cork by eight points. Dublin recovered from an 11-point defeat by Meath in the 2010 Leinster semi-final to reach the All-Ireland semi-final, losing to Cork by a point.
A year on, Dublin won the All-Ireland title with 15 of the 20 who featured against Meath 15 months earlier. In 2003, Tyrone beat Laois by 10 points in the league final; three months later Laois won Leinster for the first time in 57 years.
In hurling, Tipperary lost to Cork by 10 points in the 2010 Munster quarter-final and later won the All-Ireland. Two years later, Kilkenny lost to Galway by 10 points in Leinster and won the All-Ireland. In 2013,
Clare won the All-Ireland after losing the Munster semi-final to Cork by eight points.