Thursday 23 May 2019

'Harsh but valuable' lesson learned by Sligo ladies - Walsh

Daragh Small

Sligo forward Katie Walsh says the team have learned a harsh but very valuable lesson heading into the summer months.

Sligo were rocked by goals at the start of both halves in the Ladies NFL Division 3 final defeat to Meath at St Tiernach's Park in Clones.

It was a devastating loss for a Sligo side who had bounced back brilliantly from successive losses at the start of the league to feature in a national final.

The 25-year-old scored 0-3 on a quiet day from her point of view but having suffered the heartbreak of losing an All-Ireland junior club final with Tourlestrane at the end of 2018 she is desperate to bounce back from this.

"We know the strength and depth of the team, not only fighting for first 15 on this team, this year you are fighting for first 30," said Walsh (pictured).

"Unfortunately, six girls didn't make the cut against Meath, but that is what the management want you want a headache for the management.

"The panel is big, every single girl is capable of coming on and doing a performance.

"The girls that came on the bench did that. That is what pushes you on and that is what will get us over the line come championship.

"And this will just give us the perseverance to go and try win back the Connacht title.

"We have that hurt and sorrow from last year's Connacht final as well.

"We will use these two defeats and try and push on. You don't want to be in this position.

"It hurts, you are at the lowest of the lows, and Meath are at the highest of the highs. That is where we want to be.

"We just have to learn from experiences. You learn your best things from defeat."

Sligo are back in Connacht championship action this Sunday when they take on Leitrim at Tourlestrane.

Sligo lost last year's provincial final against Roscommon but avenged that defeat to reach a first Division 3 final in four years, before disaster struck and Meath's lethal finishing sealed their victory.

"The early goal wasn't the best of starts. Noelle Gormley, our goalkeeper and probably our most influential player, going off at half-time through injury was another blow," said Walsh.

"But credit to the girls they fought until the end and that is all we could ask.

"The goals in the second half put us on the back foot.

"There was an uphill task the whole game but Meath are a phenomenal side.

"With the help of God we will meet them again and who knows what might happen.

"Goals change games and Meath got the rub of the green. We had a penalty-shout in the first half that didn't go our way.

"On some days they don't go your way.

"Four years ago they went our way when we were in the same position Meath are now.

"We have championship again in a few days.

"We will take this hurt, bottle it and use it in the championship, push on and not be in this position again."

Sligo Champion