Friday 24 November 2017

'They have tremendous character, tremendous heart' - Galway boss Fahy proud of Tribesmen in U21 All-Ireland loss

Peter Cooke of Galway is tackled by Darragh Spillane of Dublin during the EirGrid All-Ireland U21 Football Final match between Dublin and Galway at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Peter Cooke of Galway is tackled by Darragh Spillane of Dublin during the EirGrid All-Ireland U21 Football Final match between Dublin and Galway at O'Connor Park in Tullamore, Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Conor McKeon

Conor McKeon

GALWAY manager Gerry Fahy praised his team’s “character” and “heart” despite going down to Dublin in this evening’s All-Ireland Under 21 final in Tullamore.

A blast of 1-3 in the opening five minutes of the second half forced Galway forcibly onto the back foot and from there, Dublin had the composure to limit their concessions and the counter attack to keep their own score line totting up.

“I thought going in at half-time that we hadn't really played that well and that there was more in us,” Fahy, whose team managed the shock of the season in beating a hotly-fancied Kerry team in the semi-final, sighed.

“I knew we were going to come with something. But I think Dublin got a spell that really punished us, every chance they got they put it over the bar.

“They got three or four or five in a row and I think that ultimately proved the difference. Even when we got the goals it wasn't enough for us to claw them back.”

Late on, Galway corner-back Ruairí Greene rattled the butt of the Dublin post when a goal would have put the Connacht side within a point.

But from the very next play, Aaron Byrne scored Dublin’ second goal after a visionary pass from Colm Basquel and with it, Galway’s last chance evaporated.

“In fairness now they had a couple of great opportunities too,” Fahy admitted.

“Ronan Ó Beoláin made some great saves to give him credit for that. But we thought when that one (goal chance miss) arose that it wasn't going to be our day.”

Despite the loss, Fahy predicted bright futures for a smattering of his squad.

“Oh absolutely, I have no doubt about that,” he stressed.

“They have tremendous character, tremendous heart, they're well able to play the game and I think they'll learn a lot from the whole journey we have had this year.

“Unfortunately it wasn't to be today but I think this will make them stronger and better young players and I'm very proud to be associated with them.”

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