Comer still bitterly disappointed by Dublin defeat
By John Harrington
Galway football captain Damien Comer admits the nature of their All-Ireland SFC semi-final defeat to Dublin this year was ‘bitterly disappointing’.
The Connacht champions were beaten by nine points in that match, a result that took much of the gloss off what had been a hugely positive year up to then.
“Now that the dust has settled, you look back and try and assess the year,” said Comer.
“And the question you ask yourself is ‘was it an improvement on last year? Was it a successful year?'
“I suppose if you look back, we retained our Connacht title and we went a step further than we had by reaching the All-Ireland semis for the first time.
“So looking back, it was a success. But we still would have been bitterly disappointed not to have taken out Dublin or even challenge Dublin that bit more in that game.
“Looking back in that game, we were definitely in a position to challenge them a bit better. It just didn’t happen for one reason or the other.”
Galway actually started that All-Ireland semi-final well and were unlucky to be trailing at half-time by two points having missed two excellent goal-chances.
Comer believes they exposed some frailties in the Dublin defence when they attacked them, but feels they just weren’t clinical enough on the day.
“There’s no denying that they’re a serious team,” said Comer. “And they’ve proven that over the last few years. But I just think that if you stand back and admire them, they’ll do to you what they do to most teams.
“So you have to go and play them and attack them and I think we did that well in stages in the first half. But I think we fell short because our conversion ratio wasn’t good enough.”
"In the first half, we missed 1-6 or 1-7. I know obviously the penalty…you can miss them.
“But we also had chances of kickable points and didn’t taken them – myself included.
“But against any big team, you have to be taking them if you want to have any chance of coming out the right side and we didn’t.
“If we had taken them, we could have easily gone in three or four points up rather than two points down.
“So when you look back at that…look, there’s no guarantee to say it would have been perfect and we’d have been four points up going into half-time.
“That’s easy in hindsight to say. But we were only two points down. It was evenly balanced but they just peeled away in the second half.”
Galway looked most dangerous against Dublin when they kicked direct ball into Comer and it’s no surprise to hear he’s a fan of the proposed experimental rule for Gaelic Football that would introduce an attacking mark.
“Yeah, one that I think is good to see and I'd be happy that it's coming in is the Mark, the Mark inside,” said Comer.
“I thought the Mark from the kick-out - and even before it came out I would have been an advocate of it, would have thought it was a good idea - so I was happy to see that coming in.
“I just think it'll promote the kick passing element of the game which I think has been lost in recent times. The fact that you can now get rewarded for it, by having that target inside (is a good thing). Pretty much if you get a mark inside it's a guaranteed score nearly.
“So if you have that extra incentive to kick it then it will be done and it will promote the kick pass and that element of the game.”