GAA Digest: Galway wins easy over Roscommon
Louth wins, Donegal wins, Longford wins, Limerick wins and GAA shorts
Goal scorer O’Connor admitted he was lucky to hit the ball, never mind the target.
“The ball just broke and I threw a leg at it, lucky enough it crawled in,” said the 21-year-old after his debut goal.
“It was brilliant, yeah, the stuff of dreams. We mightn’t have deserved to win but it’s the never-say-die attitude that we’ve spoken about the last few weeks in training.”
Westmeath manager Pat Flanagan was in shock afterwards. “It is very, very difficult,” he said.
“It is extremely difficult when you consider that this team is only developing. We have new players from last year and we’ve lost all of the older players. We worked extremely hard to stay in Division 2 and we got that.
“The whole emphasis then turned to this match and making sure we got the win. I can’t fault the boys, they played exceptionally well.
“Now we have to see if we can pick the boys up and get a few games in the qualifiers.”
DONEGAL opened their defense of the Ulster SFC crown with a 1-16 to 1-10 win over Cavan on Sunday, but manager Jim McGuinness was far from pleased with elements of the performance.
“There were a lot of things in the second half that we weren’t happy about,” said McGuinness afterwards.
“We weren’t ruthless. With 20 minutes to go, there was a challenge match feel about it. That last for a period of about five minutes, then Cavan came back into it.
“We were ponderous on the ball. We had opportunities to do things and we weren’t clinical.
“The other side of the coin is that it’s the 20th of May. It’s our first day out and it’s early in the season.
“There are always a bit of nerves and jitters on the first day out. It’s good to get a game under our belt and now we have a home tie in the next round.”
Cavan boss Terry Hyland admitted his young team had no answer to Donegal’s power
He told reporters, “They come at you in waves of two and threes. To stop that, you need to be pretty physical and we are not at that stage of physical development yet.
“I suppose you have to put it down to the learning curve. We had a young squad out. The second half performance wasn’t that bad. Our shot selection was probably a bit off. That’s the thing we have to work on, but that’s one of those things that comes with experience.”
LONGFORD were the big winners on the first weekend of championship action on Irish soil as Glenn Ryan’s team shocked Laois despite losing by six points at halftime.
A second half goal from the impressive Paul Barden proved crucial as Longford pulled off a shock Leinster SFC win by a score of 1-10 to 0-12, their first against Laois since 1968.
“The goal was crucial. It gave us a lifeline, an opportunity to go on and win the game. Against Wexford in the league final, we built up a good lead and managed to hold on. Today, it was the opposite,” said boss Ryan.
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