The disappointment was clearly etched on the Eoghan Rua manager’s face as he eloquently spoke to reporters in the shadow of the Hogan Stand as the Glenmore celebrations were just kicking in on the Croke Park pitch minutes after All-Ireland glory had passed by the Coleraine club.
Just two points separated the sides but that was enough for the Kilkenny side Glenmore to hold on in the face of a brave comeback by Eoghan Rua as manager Padraig O’Mianain said afterwards.
“We fought very hard I mean two sucker punches, those goals in the first half, we came back within three points a few times in the second half but we missed a couple of chances and a few decisions that I thought maybe were a bit harsh went against us,” he told Times Sport.
“Small margins, I think it was two points in the end, so near but yet so far. Its no consolation about who they are or where they’re from, we didn’t worry about that.
“We went out there 15 men against 15. You know after those goals we felt we were hurling with our peers, it might have been easier had we lost by 20 points as we felt the game was there, we could have won that game.”
The last couple of minutes deep into added time Eoghan Rua were still hammering at the door looking for the goal that would have won it but two attacks were repelled by the massed ranks of Glenmore men, one was cleared off the line for a ‘65’ and from that puck in another was cleared amid a maelstrom of flying hurls.
“We just couldn’t get through, I mean they had a lot of experience back there, boys in their with All-Irelands like (Richie) Mullally and Eoin Murphy, they’ve been here before, they know how to close out a game,” said the manager.
“They brought bodies back, I mean we had them on the defensive for the last five or six minutes but we just couldn’t get a break, a couple of chances maybe, their keeper made a good save just after half-time. Listen that’s the way it goes, in tight games its always small margins, on other days we could have had chances going in or over.”
There was a period of around 15 minutes after the opening five, it was 0-2 each at that stage, when the game threatened to really get away from Eoghan Rua Rua as Glenmore built up a 2-5 to 0-2 lead.
“It was a bit like that in the semi-final as well we weren’t ourselves but we managed to settle down in the second half, the heart and determination shown by boys like Declan Mullan, he must have got man-of-the-match, the never say die attitude from all of the boys they just never gave up,” added O’Mianain.
“I mean they were out there with boys who have All-Stars and multiple All-Irelands in their back pockets But we went out man for man, we respected them but didn’t fear them.”