Limerick hurling boss TJ Ryan felt his side could give no more after pushing Kilkenny to the limit in Sunday's All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park.
The Shannonsiders lost out on a 2-13 to 0-17 scoreline in a match where they had many periods of control. Some solace can be taken from the fact that they at least were competitive from start to finish - a marked contrast to their below-par effort against Clare in last year's semi-final.
"We looked for a performance and what we got was incredible", was Ryan's immediate reaction when speaking after the game to RTÉ Sport.
"I've just come from a dressing room of absolute desolation.The lads are exceptionally disappointed. We gave it our all. We prepared exceptionally well.
"I knew the training had gone well over the last number of weeks. I was expecting a huge performance and in fairness to the lads they gave it everything on what was a difficult day for hurling.
"It was a savage battle. We came up against a savage team and we were a little bit unlucky at the end of the day."
Ryan wanted his side to start well and it was quite evident that Limerick seemed to be more up for the battle right from the off.
"We wanted to be hungry all over the pitch, to win that ball," the Garryspillane clubman revealed.
"We know from history what Kilkenny can do, especially early on in games. When they get on top of you, they can make life difficult.
"They got a goal before half-time but in fairness to our lads they came out in the second half and weathered the storm and got themselves into a good position. Then we conceded another goal."
As was the case in the Munster final, Limerick failed to raise a green flag. It turned out to be crucial at the end of the game. A similar scenario was the case against the Cats.
"It was back to the Munster final. They [Cork] got two goals and goals win matches," added Ryan.
"We didn't get a goal, even though we had a couple of chances but they didn't go in - between the keeper and everything. It just wasn't to be.
"You have to realise that we came up against an incredible team. I'd like to congratulate them. Brian [Cody] and Kilkenny have been brilliant over the last number of years. We threw everything we had at them and they responded - and they won the game."
In summing up the game, Ryan concluded that his side "came up a small bit short."
He went on to thank his back room team and the players for their work during the year.
"We gave it everything for the last number of weeks and months. It's difficult to take. That's hurling; that's sport; that's life!
"We wanted to do anything possible to win against Kilkenny, but it just wasn't to be
"We'll be disappointed tonight and for the next number of weeks. It'll be long winter now."