As key moments go, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to identify St. Brigid’s blistering start as the key moment in last Sunday’s Connacht Senior Club Semi-Final against Augahwillan.
Aughawillan manager Tommy McCormack was naturally downbeat after the final whistle as he admitted the Leitrim champions were put under the cosh early - “We would want to have every advantage from the word go and if we had to get the breeze in the first half, we would have got a period to settle down and maybe get into the game.
“But we were put under the cosh so early and they had 1-3 on the board virtually from the very beginning. We were forced into making mistakes and they duly punished us.”
St. Brigid’s had done their homework well as manager Frankie Dolan revealed “I know Aughawillan have pencilled in the start of the first and second half in most of their games this year from what I hear and thankfully we got the better start today.
“We treated the game with the respect Aughawillan deserved and we’re delighted to be back in a Connacht Final. Probably the game was a little bit far out of sight of them at halftime but you’ve got to give credit to Tommy McCormack’s men, they never dropped the heads, they kept fighting and fighting.”
Tommy, however, felt that Aughawillan were just a little bit off their game against the Roscommon men - “We seemed to drift a little bit concentration wise, we seemed unable to close them down in the middle third of the field and they were in a position to dictate the game from there.
“We had men in close proximity but we weren’t touching, we weren’t close enough to get a hand on them and that is what we need at this level.
“St. Brigid’s would have a great diversity in their game and you need that too because it is easy to counteract one type of approach but when you have a varied approach like that, the long ball, the diagonal ball, the short ball, there is such a variation in the modern game and they have embraced that.”
Nevertheless Tommy was proud of his charges - “Absolutely, they fought tooth and nail, especially in that second half. St. Brigid’s could actually play around with the ball but we fought tooth and nail, we fought extremely hard and there was some brilliant performances out there from Mark Plunkett and others, not just to mention Mark, from so many other guys there, there was nothing left in the tank.”
Frighteningly, Frankie Dolan seemed to suggest that there is a lot more to come from the Roscommon champions - “From our own point of view, we’d be very disappointed with a lot of our finishing but that is something that had been happening all year and it is something we can work on. To have any hope the next day, we are going to have to be an awful lot better.”