Kerry camogie boss Pat Ryan happy to switch attention to Westmeath after Munster final loss

Kerry face Westmeath in their first Group 3 match in the All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship in Mullingar

Cork's Rachel Harty races clear of Áine O'Connor of Kerry during the Munster Intermediate Camogie Final at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photo by Sportsfile

Jimmy DarcyKerryman

Kerry camogie team manager Pat Ryan was disappointed after the final whistle, not just at the result of Kerry's first competitive defeat of the year, but also the manner of it.

Very much in the game at half time, a combination of Cork really upping their half in the second half, and showing their natural skill and ability, coupled with Kerry seeming to run out of energy and ideas, saw the Rebels pull away quite comfortably in the end for a 15-point win that hardly does justice to what was a very decent Kerry performance.

“Cork were very good out there, and fair play to them, but I have to say that we didn't really do ourselves justice. We were emotionally very flat out there; we never really seemed to get going,” Ryan told The Kerryman.

"Our full back line were magnificent in the first half. Cork could have been out of sight after the opening twenty minutes instead of just a point up. We were still in it and half-time, just a goal down, but once they got that goal at the start of the second half they never looked back. It's a tough one for us.”

There were some bright spots for Kerry, with Ryan very pleased with some of the younger players.

"I thought Caoimhe Spillane and Ellen O'Donoghue played their hearts out, they both did very well. Jackie hit some great scores from frees but to be honest, you aren't going to win any game with just two points from play, and that's just one issue that we are going to have to look at.”

The fact of it being Kerry's first loss isn't a huge factor for Ryan, with the Limerick native more focussed on the upcoming All-Ireland Championship, with Westmeath the opposition this weekend.

“That doesn't mean much, in that we all knew that a defeat was almost certainly going to happen at some stage. It's how you react to it that matters, and that's what we have to work on now. We don't have time to dwell on it. It's a short turnaround to our All-Ireland championship opener against Westmeath this Saturday, so we simply have to lift it again straightaway. We know that we are better than that display, and hopefully we can show it this Saturday,” he said.

Kerry drew with Westmeath, 0-9 to 1-6, in the opening game of the National League, but it's fair to say that neither team was really up to full speed at that stage. Westmeath have plenty of experience to draw on – Fiona Keating, Karen Gaffney, Muireann Scally, Amelia Shaw, and top scorer Megan Dowdall will give Kerry plenty of it, but Kerry will be hopeful of shaking off the cobwebs of that Munster Intermediate final with an opening win on the road.

All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Group 3 Round 1

Westmeath v Kerry

Cusack Park, Mullingar

Saturday, May 27 at 2pm