Dunloy Cúchulainns manager Gregory O'Kane.
Dunloy Cúchulainns manager Gregory O'Kane.

O'Kane proud of Dunloy's display

By Cian O'Connell

Proud of a gutsy Dunloy display, manager Gregory O'Kane acknowledged that his team just weren't clinical enough in the closing stages of the AIB All-Ireland Club SHC Final.

Eight of the last 10 points in the game were registered by Shamrocks to secure a ninth national title.

It was Dunloy's fifth final defeat, but O'Kane was proud of the Antrim and Ulster champions display at Croke Park.

"Probably at that time when we were needing energy with a point in it, the game might have been level," O'Kane reflected on some missed opportunities. 

"Again it just turned on that there, the last two or three minutes of injury time lads are out on their feet, and Ballyhale clipped on a few scores to get over the line."

Adrian Mullen's absence was a significant blow for Ballyhale, but Dunloy didn't focus on that. "Any Ballyhale player that goes on the field, the wealth of experience they have in an All-Ireland final with Kilkenny and their clubs," O'Kane stated. 

"The amount of All-Ireland clubs they have won is phenomenal, nine All-Ireland club titles. They all have that big game experience. We were set for 15 Ballyhale players regards who that was."

O'Kane praised Shamrocks' diligent half back line, especially when the issue was delicately poised in the closing stages.

"I said that, a few balls broke, normally we would latch on to them, and we would be gone out of the tackle, we just couldn't break that line, to be fair to Ballyhale their half back line was superb too," O'Kane remarked. 

"They are the inches, the millimetres, when you add them all up in an All-Ireland final that is the difference at the end."