Galway manager Shane O'Neill congratulates Limerick's Diarmaid Byrnes following the All Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park.
Galway manager Shane O'Neill congratulates Limerick's Diarmaid Byrnes following the All Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park.

Shane O'Neill 'proud' of Galway's performance


By Cian O'Connell

Despite suffering a narrow All Ireland SHC semi-final defeat, Galway manager Shane O'Neill reflected with pride on a gutsy display.

Trailing by five points in the second half, Galway drew level before Limerick finished strongly.

"It was an epic battle between two ridiculously good sides, I just thought that it was extremely tough throughout for both sides, extremely physical," O'Neill stated.

"There wasn't much space and it was a credit to the boys to actually exploit it and it makes me proud what they achieved out there with the performance."

O'Neill was delighted by the defiant manner in which Galway performed throughout.

"I didn't think there was much difference at all, to be honest with you, and I thought that was reflected on the scoreboard," O'Neill commented.

"There was much so happening out there so I suppose it's only when you sit down and look at it that you can reflect on it, but I think as the game was going on it could have gone either way.

"We were down maybe five at one stage, but came back again, which is testament to the boys. They just dug it out and kept going and going and as I said, we're immensely proud."

Injuries suffered by Cathal Mannion and Joe Canning were significant, but O'Neill wasn't looking for any excuses.

"Cathal was a loss, yeah, but when you look at the substitutes, they were fantastic when they came on, every single one of them," O'Neill responded.

"The 15 today, the five, the other six who didn't get the game time today and the boys at home, we've just been immensely proud of everything they've done over the last month or two, really.

"They've just been unbelievable for us and they've done Galway so proud."