Thursday 23 November 2017

Bergin hails Meehan grit as sharpshooter defies injury

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Joe Bergin has paid tribute to Michael Meehan for refusing to quit football when medical advice suggested it was a very real option.

Meehan is continuing to play without sufficient cartilage in his left ankle, which almost forced him out of the game late last year.

Bergin, one of the stars of Galway's victory yesterday, hailed Meehan's persistence, which was rewarded with an impressive cameo role for the last 25 minutes in Hyde Park.

"Nine out of 10 guys would have thrown their hats at it, between the ankle, the shoulder and all the rest. But it shows the resolve of this guy -- he loves football, he loves Galway and you could hear the cheer from the crowd when he came on," said Bergin. "There was no one happier than me to see him come on after all that he has gone through. Hopefully now he can enjoy a good, long summer with the rest of us."

Bergin admits that Galway players are beginning to enjoy their football again after a few difficult seasons: "The last few years have been tough but in fairness to Alan Mulholland and the boys, they invited the likes of Padraic and myself back in again.

"I suppose they wanted a blend of youth and experience and I think it's working well. I think the big thing for us is we're enjoying our football now. Alan has brought a lot of enjoyment to the game and training has been going well," said the veteran.

consistency

"There has been a lot of change and the big thing now for us is consistency. Today we played some good football, but there's no point in it if we don't back it up against Sligo because if we don't we'll get beaten."

Mulholland admitted he had concerns for Galway when Roscommon made a push early in the second half.

"It was a bit worrying in the middle third of the game," he said. "They came back into it and we looked a bit ropey for that third but we were able to bring in PJ (Padraic Joyce) and Michael Meehan off the bench and that seemed to calm us down a little bit and see out the last 20 minutes."

Roscommon manager Des Newton found it hard to draw positives and refused to use Michael Finneran's departure through injury as an excuse.

"We are not as bad as that game reflected there. I know that and our lads know that," he said. "They are the most disappointed, whatever disappointment I feel I can assure that they are far, far more disappointed.

"I have seen bigger teams than us take bigger beatings and they have come back from it so what we do next is the important thing now," said Newton.

"Time is a great healer and I have been in that position myself in the past. The disappointment lasts a period of time but we are all disappointed and we just plough on to the next obstacle."

Irish Independent

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