Friday 20 September 2019

Still positives despite defeat for O'Leary

It's never easy having to face the press after a defeat, especially not a defeat in the Munster semi-final.

A semi-final, they say, is the worst time of all to lose a game. So close to the final, so much work having gone into getting to this point and for Millstreet and their manager William O'Leary it was no different.

They came to the Kingdom and Brosna last Sunday morning with hope in their hearts and justifiable expectations of upsetting the odds and secured a place for themselves in the Munster final in Mallow at the beginning of next month.

"We're gutted," O'Leary confirmed.

"It's a very quiet dressing room inside there, but we can't complain. Brosna were a better team than us. Yeah we had a few injuries, but we're not using that as an excuse.

"The guys that came in played tremendously well. Denis Kiely came in instead of Michael Murphy who had to go to Shanghai for work.

"Things didn't go our way today, we had a lot of kicks off the upright, a few frees and we gave a soft goal away in the first half that was really a sucker-punch."

Having started so well and so confidently, it was nevertheless disappointing to see so many mistakes being made in possession of the ball, especially in the second half as they played into the sun.

"I don't know [if the sun was an issue]," O'Leary said.

"I haven't been talking to the players inside yet to know if the sun was a factor or not, but look it was the same for both teams and we lost the game today and have no complaints. The better the won."

It was a magnanimous approach from the Millstreet supremo and while clearly down at the defeat he was still able to look on the positives of what has been a great season for the Duhallow club.

"When you lose a match like that you feel down for a good few days I can tell you," he admitted.

" It was [a tough pill to swallow], but you have to take the positives out of it as well like you said. We've a very young team and we've a lot of fellas there, five of our backs are Under 21 next year so the experience of playing all those games is going to stand to them and we're going to be a force in the intermediate championship next year."

One final word from the Millstreet boss for the Millstreet faithful who made the journey across the county bounds on Sunday in huge numbers, contributing handsomely to the 2,211 attendance.

"We've have a fantastic following all year, bus loads of people going down to Cork to county finals and things. It was a great lift to Millstreet to win the county final after fifty one years and yeah we'd fantastic support all year, they're great."