Cork camogie captain Gemma O'Connor says her side simply "didn't perform" in their All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Galway at the weekend.

The sides played out a thrilling encounter at the Gaelic Grounds, with the National League winners edging out a one-point win to stop Cork's three-in-row charge.

This will be the first year that Paudie Murray's side have not contested the All-Ireland final since the 2013 decider which featured Galway and Kilkenny. Incidentally, the same sides will compete again in this year's decider.

O'Connor says the players have been in constant contact since Saturday's defeat as they try to adjust to the unfamiliar territory of making a championship exit at the penultimate stage.

"It's obviously something that's strange to us," she told RTÉ Sport before going on to say that Galway had the greater desire to win, a sentiment which her manager expressed after the full-time whistle.

"We played them in the Gaelic Grounds a few years ago at a similar time and we beat them by a point.

"We were on the right side of playing Galway in those situations but the one disappointing thing is, if we were beaten and we had performed well you could put your hand up. But I just think too many players not performing, missed opportunities, fumbling and dropping balls, losing possession.

"It was our own fault, not even getting turned over. Those small margins make up a massive difference. Galway were hungrier, a bit more athletic.

"They were a bit more clinical in front of the posts, their workrate was better than ours. We played badly and still lost by a point but I can't take that away from Galway, they were just hungrier on the day, which is disappointing. 

"I said to the girls afterwards that I can't believe that another team was hungrier than us. But that's what it looked like and felt like."

Cork came into this tie having topped Group 2 in the All-Ireland series with five wins from five outings. They also picked up the Munster crown in May with a comprehensive win over Tipperary.

The prospect of competing three-in-a-row didn't impact on Cork's preparations this year, according to O'Connor, and the St Finbarr's defender is confident that everyone on the squad gave their utmost to the cause this year.

They simply didn't bring their best to the battle against Galway. A Julia White goal after 18 minutes suggested they might go onto control the tie, but the Tribeswomen outscored them 0-6 to 0-1 to kickstart their drive to victory.

"I don't think I could have asked for anymore from the girls or management but obviously we didn't perform, that happens and that's really disappointing," says O'Connor

"We were in a good place and training well. I don't know, maybe we weren't as mentally tough as I thought we were going into the semi-final.

"I thought even if we got the draw and went to extra-time that we'd have the physical fitness to drive up another gear and go past Galway. But we didn't take our opportunities when we got them.

"I thought when we got the goal that we might tip away at the scoreboard after that. But in fairness to Galway, they didn't really let it affect them. They just drove on and we kind of gave them a bit too much freedom in midfield."