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Warwickshire manager Tony Joyce celebrating at Croke Park.

Warwickshire manager Tony Joyce celebrating at Croke Park.

Tony Joyce: ‘The players really delivered in the second half'

By William Dunne

An ecstatic Tony Joyce was thrilled to lead Warwickshire to Lory Meagher Cup glory at Croke Park this afternoon.

Warwickshire coasted through the group stages of the competition and booked their spot in the final with a game to spare.

Heading into the break two points down, Joyce felt the pressure and feared that they would suffer another final defeat after losing out to Longford in the Division 3B decider earlier this year.

“I thought there was a lot of pressure having played all year, maybe 12 games. Losing one, a League Final”, he told GAA.ie after the game.

“And then coming to Croke Park to lose two finals would have been heartbreaking, but the pressure was on me. Probably a bit on the players as well.

“It wasn’t looking good at half-time, but we kept them scoreless right up to near the end. So the players really delivered in the second-half.”

The Exiles rejoiced in their dressing room under the Hogan Stand after the triumph and Joyce was jubilant. “Out of this world”, he said. “I wouldn’t want to see it when you get beat. It must be a sorry dressing room.

“We had words at half-time and said ‘look, we have to get the win here’ because it’s an awful day when you lose a final. So they come up trumps, fantastic.”

Liam Watson starred for Warwickshire scoring 11 placed balls out of their sides total of 0-17 and Joyce praised his contribution.

“We had to bring Liam (Watson) out to midfield to get a hold of the game and to get back in contention. Then we moved him back. They’re dogged, very dogged. It’s hard to beat them.

“He loves Croke Park, it is his playground. So he turned up on the day and thank God he did. He got us over the line really.” 

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