‘We’ll have to be a lot sharper the next time,’ says Anthony Cunningham
Galway boss knows improvement necessary if Kilkenny hurdle is to be cleared this summer
Galway manager Anthony Cunningham. “We were disappointed, we had enough chances, played well in defence . . . ”. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
From the sideline, Anthony Cunningham saw it differently than most. The Galway manager didn’t believe his charges were swamped by Kilkenny’s second-half response. No, his mind’s eye could only recall what might have been.
“Hard luck for a goal there, David Burke’s shot off the crossbar and hard luck that Johnny Glynn was pulled up before the finish there,” said Cunningham. “There are always going to be close calls but that was very unfair, at that stage of the match we would have been looking for an advantage.”
A five-point interval lead, assisted by the breeze, flipped into a four-point loss.
“Having said that we were disappointed, we had enough chances, played well in defence, a lot of good play but we’ll have to be a lot shaper the next time we meet.”
“For the first 10 minutes of the second half we lost control of the middle third,” he added.
But what Cunningham would like to see, in reference to JJ Delaney’s foul of Glynn, is the adoption of football’s advantage law.
“Not to be any way down on referees but I think the advantage rule yesterday [in the under-21 football semi-final] was excellent and should be brought into hurling.”
Cunningham then noted the imminent return of Fergal and Niall Healy, Iarla Tannian and possibly Cyril Donnellan.
Suddenly the nine-point swing didn’t seem so grim.
“Half-time is half-time,” Brian Cody informed us. “You realise that there’s a lot of time left in the game. Worried is not the word I’d be using.”
And why would he be when Henry Shefflin is making a subtle yet beautifully effective contribution again.
A collection of creative touches and 0-4 from play brightened what was an otherwise drab enough affair.
“Henry had a decent game all through. But that’s not a surprise.
“Whether they’re young faces or old faces or there a while or there a short time, the panel is the panel and places are up for grabs. Fellas get the opportunity to play and they grab it.”
Ever the Kilkenny way, ever the Cody mantra.