Finn proud of players despite final heartache
DESPITE a frustrating afternoon, Hunterstown Rovers manager Tony Finn was understandably proud of each and every one of his players on Sunday, and he was quick to laud them for a Herculean effort all year long.
'We can't fault the players, they gave everything today,' he insisted. 'With the start Two Mile House had, a lot of teams would have caved in, but fair play to our lads they ground it out and stuck together as a team and worked very hard to get themselves back into the game, so we're very proud of them.
'We've 35 or so players on the panel and for the past 12 months they've knuckled down and done a tremendous amount of work. There's great team spirit and the support we had today was fantastic. A lot of people are disappointed, but we can be proud of our team and what they have achieved this year and proud of our club and all the people involved in it.
'It was a fantastic achievment to get this far and we came down here believing we could do it. But we just fell short on the day.'
A poor start proved the difference in the end as the home side outscored their visitors by 1-4 to 0-1, but Finn didn't feel nerves or confidence was an issue.
'Sometimes the game can pass you by a little bit. You need to get a few tackles in to settle it down. We were very confident coming down here, even though it was an away match. But for those first five or ten minutes we just seemed to not get into our tackles.They got the goal and that gave them a great platform to work from.
'But coming back form the start they made, we knuckled down and we were on top for 20 minutes of the first half and we kicked on in the second half.
'I know it's a cliche, but when you make start like that you have to knuckle down and our lads did that and I'm very proud of them.
'We said at half time that we needed to come out and take the game to them. We kicked some great scores and set ourselves a great platform.'
Hunterstown were left to reflect upon two contentious decisions and Finn agreed with the concensus among his players on both incidents.
The first was a hefty challenge on Padraig Matthews, whcih left the team captain and former Louth man with a broken collarbone.
'From where I was standing he was hit after taking a pass, and I don't even know if he had taken the pass before he was hit. But we're not going to give out about the referee. Maybe there was a few decisions that might have gone our way and that was certainly one of them, but he made his decision, but we just have to take it and move on.'
On the crucial decision to allow Chris Healy's second goal, Finn felt his players wouldn't have stopped if they didn't think it had gone wide.
'Our lads were close to it and they felt it was wide. They stopped thinking it had gone wide but their man got his hands on it and stuck it in the back of the net. Again we have to take it. They took their opportunity and made it that bit more difficult for us.'