No excuses from gracious McIntyre after agonising loss
Published 26/07/2010 | 05:00
FOR Liam Sheedy, it was all about courage and persistence even when things were going against Tipperary; for John McIntyre, it was about coming to terms with the sickening feeling of having lost an All-Ireland quarter-final by a point for a second successive year.
Galway were hit by a late Waterford goal last year but this time it was a slower death as they conceded three late points while drawing a blank during their own forays into Tipperary territory.
"People have questioned the attitude and commitment of our players but it was never an issue as anyone could see out there today," said Sheedy.
"They left absolutely everything on the pitch -- their workrate in the closing minutes was fantastic. It looked as if it mightn't be our day but the lads kept working as hard as was humanly possible and got their rewards in the end."
Pointing to the last five minutes of both halves as crucial periods for Tipperary, Sheedy also paid tribute to the contribution of their subs. "Our bench certainly kicked things on. The guys who went on made a big difference," he said.
McIntyre felt that one of his subs should have been awarded a free in the last seconds as a long-range free from Ger Farragher dropped near the Tipperary goal.
"Niall Healy has a bloodied mouth," said McIntyre, inferring he was unlucky not to have got a free which would have yielded a point and sent the game to extra-time.
"But look, no sour grapes. We lost a very close game by a point. I've never been as proud of that team as I am now. They gave absolutely everything. I hope the pundits and everyone else are fair to Galway," he said.
For Tipperary, it was the launch of a brand new drive for the All-Ireland, something which looked a very long way off after their big defeat by Cork.
"You want to be in Croke Park in mid-August and we're there now. We have a lot to work on but judg-ing by the way the subs performed today it's going to be competitive on the training ground in the coming weeks," said Sheedy.
It was all so different for McIntyre who acknowledged that contributing so handsomely to a thrilling game was no consolation.
And 2011? "Thinking about the future isn't even an option at present," he said.