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Cunningham laments 'unforced errors and a couple of decisions' after second-half collapse

The Galway boss has his say on another All-Ireland final defeat.

Galway senior hurling manager Anthony Cunningham.
Galway senior hurling manager Anthony Cunningham.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

GALWAY MANAGER ANTHONY Cunningham reflected on his side’s disappointing second-half performance in the aftermath of today’s defeat to Kilkenny in the 2015 All-Ireland senior hurling final at Croke Park.

The Tribesmen led by three points at half-time but a poor showing after the break allowed Kilkenny to take control, with the Cats eventually running out 1-22 to 1-18 winners to secure their 11th All-Ireland title since Brian Cody took charge.

Speaking to RTÉ after the game, Cunningham pointed to unforced errors and some refereeing decisions when asked to explain Galway’s second-half collapse.

“Unfortunately we came out second-best there in the second-half, having had a nice lead there at half-time,” Cunningham said. “Congratulations to Kilkenny, they were the better team there in the second-half. We just had a few unforced errors there really; we only returned 1-4 in the second-half.

“But no fault to any of our players. They gave it some, some effort, it was some battle there. A few unforced errors there in the second-half, maybe a couple of decisions went against us at the start of the second-half. Kilkenny, with all their experience and their guile and their craft, a tremendous team, they punished us.

“As I said, we had a couple of chances and maybe on another day they would have gone over. Cyril [Donnellan] was through there at the start of the second-half and he got pulled down. The free, for some reason, went the other way.

“But overall [Kilkenny] really upped their game and we weren’t able to match it in the second-half. We tried our damnedest there, you’ve got to stay in the game and we forced errors there that maybe on another day we wouldn’t have.”

Cunningham added: “I have to say, we gave everything, our guys have given it everything all year, we’ve had a super, super year and we’ll live to fight another day.

“There was some brilliant hurling there again from our team and I just feel so, so sorry for the players and for our supporters who have come from all over the world and every county in Ireland practically has backed us today. It’s so, so hard to take, but that’s sport, that’s how difficult it is. We need to up it another notch or two.”

When asked if he plans to continue his journey with the Galway team, Cunningham said: “Absolutely. These guys will still go on to win an All-Ireland, it’s in them, the hurling is there. It’s just a matter of patience really and keep working at the game again.”

‘There’s a talented bunch of players still here and we’re here for a long time’

Brilliant Kilkenny second-half showing delivers All-Ireland final win over Galway

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Paul Dollery

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