O Beaglaioch says "goals killed us" but hails players' spirit and character

Paul Brennan

HAVING jetted into Knock airport early on Saturday morning before then driving down to Nenagh, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne team manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was under pressure in the aftermath of his team's Hogan Cup semi-final defeat to make a flight out of Dublin airport that evening to return to Kerry's training camp in Portugal.

In Fitzmaurice's absence team selector Tomas O Beaglaioch tried to pick over the bones of the school's second successive Hogan Cup semi-final defeat, this one another close affair, even if it didn't look like panning out that after 20 minutes.

"The goals killed us in the first half and that's disappointing, but we could have been more behind at half time and the game could really have been over at that stage. We left too much to do, I suppose.

"We showed great spirit in the second half and we are very proud of the lads for the way they reacted," he said.

O Beaglaioch acknowledged that this Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne have been slow starters for many of their games this season but he said that they have never gone as far behind as they did in the first half last Saturday.

"It wasn't planned, of course, the way it worked out, it just happened that way. All we can do it learn from it and move on to next year.

"We took consolation at half time that we could have been further behind. They could have had two more goals, so we took hope and reacted accordingly.

"The lads were well up for it for the second half, they have great character and there's a never-say-die attitude from them.

"We were confident enough and patient enough in the second half, and we were working the ball well enough around their defence, but ultimately, I suppose, we needed a goal and we missed one or two frees, that might have made it even closer," the PCD selector added.

Meanwhile, former Meath footballer Colm O'Rourke, trainer of the St Pat's team, admitted that his team were "hanging on at the end and were desperately lucky to escape with the victory."


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