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Galway manager Micheal Donoghue during the Allianz Hurling League semi-final against Waterford at Nowlan Park.
Galway manager Micheal Donoghue during the Allianz Hurling League semi-final against Waterford at Nowlan Park.

Donoghue disappointed to exit Allianz Hurling League

By Cian O'Connell

Disappointed to have exited the Allianz Hurling League Galway manager Micheal Donoghue still believes some new maroon talent has been afforded an opportunity to shine during the spring.

Having impressed in the opening period against Waterford at Nowlan Park Galway were eventually defeated by a pumped up Deise outfit.

Despite the second period dismissal of Mikey Kearney Waterford, who stitched a seven point without reply sequence together at a crucial stage, found a way to prevail

"First and foremost, disappointment," was Donoghue's immediate reaction. "In the first half I thought we worked really hard. Our decision making was good. In the second half, particularly going down to 14 men, I thought some of our decision making was poor. We had seven in a row wides and ultimately, that probably cost us in the end.

"Overall, I’m not going to fault them with their work and their attitude. Our agenda at the start of the League was see if we could find a few players so we are happy enough now going away now in terms of our Championship preparation."

Donoghue praised how Waterford adequately coped with Kearney's sending off. "When that happens, everybody expects the numerical advantage to kick in, but in fairness to Waterford, I thought their experience shone through," Donoghue reflected.

"Their use of the ball and decision-making – they got some big scores when they needed them. But our boys fought to the end, just our decision-making cost us a bit in the second half.

"Sometimes, you drop off when pushing on might be a better option. When their opportunities came they took them."

Galway thundered into the contest initially, but just weren't clinical enough converting opportunities according to Donoghue. "Yeah I think after last week we took a lot of confidence from that, we started really well, but we had one or two good goal chances in the first half which we just didn't take, in fairness Stephen O'Keefe made a brilliant save on us and it could have been a different scoreline," Donoghue added.

"At half-time I thought our play probably deserved a bigger gap than what it was, but that's testament to Waterford. It was just decision-making, I know I'm repeating myself, but they were just better on their execution in the second half.

"We missed a lot and that's what wins and loses games."