TOURLESTRANE boss Eamonn O’Hara was disappointed that his side’s dream of reaching the Connacht final was over. He said after the game that their opponents were cuter in their second half play. “We are disappointed, we were beaten by a better team on the day but we just came up here today to try and express ourselves, to play our brand of football and we did it in patches.
“We played a good first half it was level pegging. I think when you come into Connacht you realise there’s cynical fouling at the right time and how to break momentum is so key and to be able to get away with it is so key.
“Castlebar on every opportunity they fouled us and unfortunately we felt the referee particularly at times we had momentum didn’t give us that little bit.
“He was pulling on petty stuff and it breaks momentum and it allowed them to get back.
“You know they talk about how defensive Mohill were last week, they were equally as defensive as we were, that’s the way the game has gone. It’s all about keeping the ball.
“They were a lot better than us today and the goal really killed the game,” O’Hara said.
Tourlstrane did have their own goal chances too. “We could have done with an extra pass, it was a poor execution of a pass in the first one, we had another one at the end but I think overall you have to say we are disappointed with fifty percent of our effort.
“The other fifty percent of the lads worked hard, they gave it as best they can, we prepared as well as we could.
“They gave us a great year again and we have to sort of go away now and assess the whole situation and I just hope that we learn from this,” the manager added. Last year we were bitterly disappointed in Markievicz Park and today we are going home bitterly disappointed but it’s all a learning curve for a lot of these younger guys.
“They are a great bunch of players, winning county titles is lovely and when we won back to back it was great and we thought it would condition us to sort of push on this year but when you’re up against All-Ireland contenders it’s very very difficult.
“It’s out of the frying pan into the fire. If we were to win today it would have been Corofin or Brigid’s so it’s very much a learning curve for these lads. We are disappointed that we just didn’t grind it out,” O’Hara said.
In terms of the second half he added: “We got the great start, we got the point early on and we were sort of in control. It was actually two refereeing decisions that actually swung at their direction. They got a free kick which gave them an opportunity.
“It’s frustrating when you see it and I think that’s what we were remonstrating. These experienced teams seem to get away with an awful lot of the cute stuff, the smart stuff.
“We’re trying to instil it into our game in Sligo, the game is being officiated completely differently in Sligo where you cannot put a hand on a fellow. Here, it’s very much hands on. It’s physical, it’s in your face and then it comes down to the referee’s discretion if he’s going to pull it or not on the day and anytime we seemed to try it, put the aggression in we got pulled for it while when it was being done to us, we weren’t getting any results. So overall, I’m bitterly disappointed by the referee’s performance, I’ll be very straight about it, but saying that I don’t blame the referee.
“Castlebar are a wonderful team and they are going to really test Corofin. They are just getting better. A lot of people were saying this Castlebar team isn’t as good as before, going by their progression in Mayo, but they seem to have gotten better and better and they’ve put in the best performance I’ve seen them this year so far,” O’Hara added.
Tourlestrane managers Gerry McGowan and Eamonn O’Hara.