Castle­bar’s cute­ness

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT -

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.

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