Donoghue hails 'absolutely savage' Cooneys
By John Harrington
Galway manager Micheal Donoghue hailed the class of the two Cooneys, Conor and Joseph, after the duo inspired the Tribesmen to victory in today’s Leinster SHC Final.
Conor Cooney struck seven points from play and his namesake Joseph drilled five as they put on a shooting exhibition in Croke Park that blew Wexford away.
“The two of them in fairness were absolutely savage,” said Donoghue after the match.
“That's the beauty of the team at the minute. On different days different fellas are stepping up and the fellas who aren't getting on the scoreboard are just working hard for the team. Thankfully the two boys had their shooting boots on today."
Galway struggled to impose their game in the first-half but absolutely blew Wexford away in the second, outscoring them by 0-15 to 1-6.
“I thought the first-half we did okay but I think we went away from what got us here and you have to give Wexford a lot of credit for that,” said Donoghue.
“At half-time the message was just to go back to ourselves and try impose ourselves. I thought for the first ten minutes of the second-half they were very good.
“I just thought early on we were nearly second to the ball and more reactive more than anything else. I won't say we stood off them but we were more reactive than just going for it and trying to impose our own game.
“We did for periods of the first-half but we were a lot better in the second-half.”
Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald felt his team were the dominant force for much of the first-half, but regretted the manner in which they allowed Galway to score some handy points in the minutes just before half-time.
“To me there was probably one vital patch in the game, that was probably the 10 minutes coming in to half-time,” said Fitzgerald.
“Were we a point up? Gave up two or three handy scores. I could feel the lads a small bit down. I thought that they felt 'we shouldn’t be three points down'.
“I thought we played a good 22 or three minutes. We were there or thereabouts.
“Small bit unlucky. That got one or two handy frees coming in to half-time.
“Then the first six or seven minutes of the second half we had a goal and a point opportunity – that’s four points. It’s hard to not take them and be still in the game.”
Another obvious turning-point was Conor McDonald’s penalty miss early in the second-half.
In its aftermath Galway scored seven unanswered points which effectively was the winning of the match.
“That was momentum,” admitted Fitzgerald. “We had a point just disallowed by that Hawk-Eye system. Any chance they can bin that thing! We had the momentum. That’s four points. I’m not saying we would have won the game.
“But playing the likes of Galway, two things – one, you can’t give that seven or eight minute patch that we gave before half-time. And second, if we get opportunities we have to take them.
“It’s very hard when a team gets up on you like that. They got a run on us. Brought a lot of their forwards out the field. Even though we had the sweeper they had a lot of room.
"I was trying to get my lads out from the other end, to meet in the middle. It just didn’t work.”