Tuesday 14 August 2018

'It's up to ourselves and everyone else to close the gap' - Galway boss Walsh praises dominant Dublin

Kevin McManamon of Dublin in action against Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh of Galway during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Dublin and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin.
Kevin McManamon of Dublin in action against Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh of Galway during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Dublin and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin.
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Galway manager Kevin Walsh insists it’s 'up to everyone else to close the gap' to four in a row chasing Dublin after watching his side go down by nine points in their All-Ireland semi-final clash.

Walsh’s men had drawn with Dublin in the league round robin and lost by four points when they met in the league final and were considered by many to be the side best placed to rattle the champions.

However, they were comprehensively outclassed in the second period as Jim Gavin’s side moved to within a single victory of becoming just the fourth side to win Sam Maguire four times in succession.

“It looks that way at the minute,” Walsh replied when asked if Dublin were well ahead of the chasing pack.

“They are highly experienced, they probably get stronger as the summer goes on and they have a huge panel and they know each other inside out so it's up to ourselves and everyone else to close the gap.

“When we look at this at the end of the year, I keep talking about end of year accounts, we’ll look at ourselves to see if we have made progress or not, and if we can keep closing the gap on the top teams that's what we have tried to do up to today.

"I just said to the boys there you never know who will be in the dressing room next year, things change all the time, so we’ll look at ourselves and see what we have achieved.”

Walsh’s men trailed by just two points at half-time but might have led had Damien Comer converted a goal chance while Eamonn Brannigan was also denied from the penalty spot by a brilliant Stephen Cluxton save.

“Obviously we were two down at half-time, we probably should have been leading at half time. Playing a team the quality of Dublin and not to put your chances away probably put us under pressure and then one or two early scores after half time once that happened we were on the back foot.”

Gavin expressed his satisfaction at how his side responded in the second half and insisted afterwards that Cian O’Sullivan was removed as a ‘precaution’.

“My initial reaction is that I’m happy with the win,” said the Dublin manager. “Semi-finals are there to be won and we’re just happy to get through it. First of all you're pleased with the victory.

“We prepared well for the game and that probably showed in the performance. Coming into the game we had been so impressed with what Galway have brought. This year they have been really, really impressive and we knew it was going to be a really tight game.

"It was at half-time and we just told the boys to keep doing what they were doing and we'd hope that we'd eventually get through. (We’re) just happy with the win.”

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