Wednesday 21 February 2018

Lots of positives from former manager's reign

Former Sligo manager, Kevin Walsh watches on during the London defeat.
Former Sligo manager, Kevin Walsh watches on during the London defeat.

Former Sligo manager, Kevin Walsh, could look back on five successful years with the county, despite last summer's shock defeat to London in the Connacht Championship.

That's the view of County Board Secretary, Gerry O'Connor, who told the annual GAA Convention that there were a lot of positives during the former manager's reign.

The Secretary said there would naturally be a lot of 'what ifs' over the last five years as the Nestor Cup remained as elusive as ever. However, League final wins and Connacht final appearances were more frequent than in most periods in the county's history.

In addition, the county had won the Junior All-Ireland Championship for the first time since 1935.

Recalling Sligo's exit from the Championship at Ruislip, the Secretary stressed that nothing was taken for granted and the possibility of being caught out by 'the Exiles' was taken seriously.

"The fears of an upset proved to be well founded," he added.

Sligo were subsequently defeated by Derry in the All-Ireland qualifiers at Owenbeg.

Kevin Walsh stepped down after the game, bringing an end to his five year term in charge of the team.

"It would seem defeat at the hands of London had taken its toll on management and players and the loss to Derry brought closure to a forgettable season," said the Secretary.

On a more positive note, Mr. O'Connor, recalled that Sligo beat Mayo in the final of the Connacht Junior Championship with Niall Murphy delivering a man of the match performance.

The Secretary paid tribute to two long serving and distinguished players, Noel McGuire and Eamonn O'Hara, who retired during the year.

McGuire captained Sligo to the Connacht Championship title in 2007 while O'Hara won a coveted All Star award in 2002.

Sligo Champion

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