McIntyre not satisfied with Galway focus
GALWAY manager John McIntyre gave his players the famous Alex Ferguson 'hairdryer treatment' despite a hard-fought win over Offaly which sets up a tasty final clash with Dublin next weekend.
McIntyre pulled no punches as he hit the high decibels in a rant that could plainly be heard by those few journalists and supporters standing outside the Galway dressing room. Eyebrows were raised at the level of passion and intensity evident in the tone and urgency of his post-match 'review'.
It was a surprise that it should happen (a) to a winning team, and (b) on a bleak, foggy, damp Saturday in early February in a competition such as the Walsh Cup.
But when he emerged from the dressing room, McIntyre was businesslike as he declared: "Most managers tend to lose the cool and give their players a tongue-lashing when they lose, but that wasn't a tongue-lashing.
"I was challenging the Galway squad and saying, 'look, lads, there's more in you but we've got to concentrate for the full 70 minutes'. We've got to maintain our focus and our levels of intensity throughout the match and we've just got to be a bit more clinical and a bit more ruthless. The level we're competing at we're not going to win if we don't have that.
"We're after having two good work-outs. It's Laois and it's Offaly, and when people are talking about who's going to win the All-Ireland, those two teams aren't being mentioned."
The Tribesmen ended up winning by just three points when at times they made the game look easy, but gritty Offaly -- who were nine points down at one stage -- refused to submit, and with a bit of luck, could at least have taken the game into extra-time.
"We're looking for more," McIntyre continued. "Any day you win is a good day and on three or four different occasions it looked as though we were going to win comfortably. Credit is due to Offaly, they fought back every time. It's a learning curve for a lot of our players."
Midfielder Ger Farragher with 10 points, all from placed balls, and full-forward Joe Gantley, who got Galway's only goal of the game, did most of the damage for the winners. The half-time score of 1-11 to Galway, 1-6 to Offaly, reflected the trend of Galway playing in fits and starts, first getting a run of scores, then being pegged back.
Offaly got two fine goals, the first by full-forward Ger Healion after 23 minutes and the second on the 60-minute mark by scoring ace Shane Dooley, who contributed 1-7 to the cause. They might have had another in in the 49th minute when sub Conor Mahon broke through but kicked the ball over the bar.
And late in the game, goalie Eoin Kelly ran the length of the field to take a 21-yard free that would have equalised if he had got the goal. A hero earlier when he blocked a point-blank goal-bound shot by Joe Gantley, Kelly could only manage a point.
It was not enough. In the closing minutes of time added on, Galway's Farragher, Cyril Donnellan and Eanna Ryan zipped over the clinching points.
Offaly manager Joe Dooley said: "I'm disappointed to lose, but not disappointed with the performance. We fought hard and we had Galway under pressure in the last five minutes."
Scorers -- Galway: G Farragher 0-10 (5f, 2 '65s, 1 sl); J Gantley 1-6; D Burke 0-3; A Callanan, A Harte, C Donnellan 0-1 each.
Offaly: S Dooley 1-7 (5f); G Healion 1-2; R Hanniffy, K Brady 0-2 each; G Oakley, C McMahon, E Kelly 0-1 each.
Galway -- J Skehill; D Joyce, S Kavanagh, P Holland; D Barry, T Og Regan, K Hynes; G Farragher, N Cahalan; A Callanan, C Donnellan, D Burke; A Harte, J Gantley, N Hayes. Subs: R Cummins for N Hayes (62); I Tannion for A Harte (62); A Coen for K Hynes (70); K Kilkenny for D Barry (73).
Offaly -- E Kelly; J Rigney, E Murphy, S Wynne; P Cleary, D Horan, D Morkan; J Keane, R Hanniffy; J Brady, G Oakley, S Kelly; C Parlon, G Healion, S Dooley. Subs: D Hayden for E Murphy (ht); B Carroll for J Brady (ht); K Brady for J Keane (42); C Mahon for S Kelly (50); M Verney for G Oakley (65).
Ref -- J Owens (Wexford)