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'When I've looked at the match three or four times, that's when I'll start kicking myself'

Portlaoise boss Malachy McNulty will digest his side’s Leinster final defeat in the coming days.

Portlaoise's Paul Cahillane is gutted at full-time.
Portlaoise's Paul Cahillane is gutted at full-time.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

DEVASTATED PORTLAOISE BOSS Malachy McNulty is planning to pore over the video of Sunday’s AIB Leinster club final in the quest for answers to the questions behind his side’s defeat.

Portlaoise suffered an agonising one-point loss as they finished runners-up in the province for the third time in four seasons.

“My head’s in a tizzy at the moment trying to look back on all the different swings and roundabouts in that game, matchwinning moments, chances that weren’t taken and things like that,” McNulty told the Newstalk Rewind podcast after the game, when asked if Portlaoise lost a game they should have won.

“I suppose the answer to that question would be best answered if you ask me that question in two days time, when I’ve looked at the match three or four times. That’s when I’ll probably start kicking myself big time.”

Malachy McNulty Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Portlaoise missed a couple of goal chances and Paul Cahillane endured late heartbreak when he inexplicably kicked a 13m free wide when a score would have surely taken the game into extra time.

“It’s just these things happening in football. An element of it was that it was a tight game, you know?” McNulty added.

“So everything was on a knife edge, tit for that the whole game, point in it, two points in it. It was just that nature of a game and if you don’t take the chances, you don’t win the game.”

And McNulty rejected the suggestion that Portlaoise were mentally scarred from previous Leinster final losses.

“That wasn’t a factor to be quite honest in our preparation, we were preparing for another team, it didn’t matter what county they were from.

“We were focusing on our performance and taking the game to them, and we nearly pulled it off but nearly isn’t good enough.

“We’ll drive on, try to come back but right now is for going away and reflecting on things, licking our wounds and a lot of lads will have a think about whether they keep it going but it’s great to have those young lads breaking through, not just on the first 15, 16, 17 or 18 that you saw today.

“There’s a good solid panel of 30 players that are there on merit.”

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