It could have gone either way

Manorhamilton manager Mick Galvin was rightly delighted by his team’s victory in last Saturday’s Senior Hurling Championship Final but relief was the over-riding emotion for the Sligo native.

Manorhamilton manager Mick Galvin was rightly delighted by his team’s victory in last Saturday’s Senior Hurling Championship Final but relief was the over-riding emotion for the Sligo native.

“It is a relief that it is over anyways,” Mick told the Observer, “because we started very, very well and then we went out of it and Clement Cunniffe came into it and was outstanding. Second half, they started better than us but we gritted out teeth, said we’d give it our all for 60 minutes.

“When we got into the last ten minutes, we made a few changes and they worked. Lucky enough, we got the few scores but it was a game that could have gone any way.”

Mick agreed that the hurt of losing last year’s final after a replay drove on Manorhamilton – “We showed real resolve, they were beaten last year after a replay, I wasn’t involved, they were really hurt by it I suppose and they said they weren’t going to let it pass them this year.

“We started very well but we missed a few chances and Carrick were clawing their way back in. We gave away a few soft frees and the penalty would have given us an eight point cushion at halftime, it didn’t, five points in hurling is nothing.”

As for the Connacht Junior Club Championship, Mick said “I don’t know when it is, we’ll give it a go. We have a few lads away in college or abroad but we’ll celebrate this first and see what happens.”

Carrick-on-Shannon manager Olcan Conway congratulated Manorhamilton on their victory but admitted that he was “bitterly” disappointed – “We didn’t play well in the first half but the lads put in a tremendous effort in the second half to get back into the game.

“I always thought Manorhamilton were going to win a championship but I just hoped it wouldn’t be this year. Good luck to them in the future.

“The lads dug deep, they knew they didn’t do themselves justice in the first half and compared to the semi-final where we started off well and hit Gortletteragh hard, I don’t know, I couldn’t put my finger on what happened today but fair play to Manor, they are the champions and we’ll look to take them down next year.”

Without seeking to make excuses, Olcan agreed that the absence of their Leitrim Gaels contingent and Liam Greene had an impact on Carrick’s performance– “We were missing a few Leitrim Gaels and an injury to Liam Greene and they were all losses to us and they disrupted the preparations for the final but I still thought if we prepared well and got our heads right on the day, we could still win the game but unfortunately, we didn’t.”