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Galway manager Mícheál Donoghue during the All Ireland SHC Final at Croke Park.
Galway manager Mícheál Donoghue during the All Ireland SHC Final at Croke Park.

Mícheál Donoghue: 'Limerick were deserving winners'

By Cian O'Connell

Galway manager Mícheál Donoghue praised Limerick's approach as the Treatymen earned a first All Ireland SHC title at Croke Park in 45 years.

Donoghue admitted that the opening period was played on Limerick's terms with John Kiely's outfit quickly assuming control at the outset.

“In fairness, firstly you have to take your hat off to Limerick and we have to congratulate them wholeheartedly," Donoghue stated.

"They came out and started really well and they played the game on their terms and we probably struggled a small bit to get into the game but all the credit has to go to Limerick.

"At half-time, we just discussed where we were a and areas we needed to improve on and I think we did in the second half and in fairness to Limerick, they got the big scores when they needed them, but our boys fought to the end and I’m really proud of them."

Donoghue didn't want to place any significant emphasis that it was Galway's ninth Championship match in an epic 2018 adventure.

“I don’t know," Donoghue replied when asked had the volume of games caught up on Galway.

"Obviously we were where we wanted to be today. I still thought the two weeks, we had enough time and the lads bounced back really well. I’m not going to sit here and use any excuse.

"We didn’t hurl the way we want to hurl for periods in games. The lads worked really hard at the end of the game.

"My thoughts on the players isn’t going to change. Yeah, we’re bitterly disappointed. What we achieved together and where we want to go, this huge unity, huge trust, huge collective in that group and they’ve shown massive resilience down through the years when they’ve had setbacks and I’m sure they’re going to bounce back again."

Despite enduring some serious first half problems Galway only trailed by four points at the interval, did that offer any encouragement?

“We just seemed to be struggling to get into it," Donoghue admitted. "Sometimes games go like that. As I said, it wasn’t panic at half-time, there was just try and improve some of the areas we wanted to focus on and we still probably until the last 10 minutes, we didn’t get into a bit of a flow and then we got the sucker punches of goals but, as I said, credit to Limerick, they worked really hard from the off and got massive scores.

"Even when we came back, I know it was a mistake on our behalf, but when the opportunity presented itself they took it and pushed on so credit to them.

"Huge credit to Limerick. They probably just had the edge on it the whole day and they’re deserving winners.

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