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'How someone can't see what happened is beyond me' - Joyce fumes at Walsh challenge

Shane Walsh had to have an injection in his shoulder at half-time after an off-the-ball incident.

PADRAIC JOYCE WAS unhappy with an off-the-ball challenge by Padraig O’Hora that left Shane Walsh requiring an injection to his shoulder at half-time of today’s Connacht football final.

Screenshot 2021-07-25 at 16.36.46 Shane Walsh receives treatment for a shoulder injury.

Walsh had 1-1 to his name, plus an assist for Damien Comer’s goal, when he was slammed to the ground by O’Hora in an incident that went unpunished.

Both players were involved in an entanglement when O’Hora forcibly brought the Galway star to the ground and he required medical attention for a number of minutes on the field.

He received further treatment in the dressing room at half-time, with Joyce revealing he had a painkilling injection, and his influence on the game waned after the break.

“He hurt his shoulder,” said Joyce. “He got dumped the ground, thrown on the ground and nothing happened. There’s seven or eight officials there are the match.

“I’d seen what happened, but obviously they didn’t see it. It’s frustrating when that happens and they get away with it.

“There’s two linesman, there’s four umpires, there’s a referee and there’s an assistant referee. How someone can’t see what happened is beyond me. But that’s not sour grapes or anything. The man was hurt.

Screenshot 2021-07-25 at 16.36.49 Joyce appeals to the linesman.

“He was carrying his shoulder, he got an injection at half-time trying to keep him going, keep him right. He battled on as best he could, but he definitely was not in full health in the second half.”

Galway, who also lost Sean Kelly and Robert Finnerty to injury, wilted in the second-half. Joyce struggled to put his finger on what went wrong after the break. The second-half saw an 11-point turnaround as goals from Ryan O’Donoghue and Matthew Ruane fired Mayo to victory.

“Bitterly disappointed. It’s just hard to put your finger on it when we were in a great position at half-time, five points up. We ended up losing the game by six points, it could have been a lot more. So I’m just very disappointed, hard to put your finger on it in the second-half where it went wrong for us.

“The instruction at half-time was we were five points up and probably not playing overly well, probably 30-40% of what we could do. I said at half-time, ‘We’re five points up, go and manage the game’.

“They got a penalty straight away, and their runners from deep killed us, from the half-back line. That’s something we spoke about, that’s Mayo’s strength. We stopped it in the first-half, but for some reason we went away from it in the second-half there.

“Overall, we are proud of the lads, the way they kept battling to the end there and kept going. But it’s disappointing to lose it the way they did.”

padraig-joyce Joyce was disappointed after the game. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

He accepted that once Mayo turned things on in the second-half, there was a gulf between the teams.

“You can blame me for not doing whatever, but at the end of the day, Mayo were the better team on the day,” said Joyce.

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“They overran us. We knew that coming up, that we’d have to play really, really well. But we’d be disappointed with the amount of ball we had turned over at times. We had four scoring chances after half-time to push the lead out and we didn’t.

“We put two in the goalie’s chest, missed a punch-point as well just after half-time. So that would have put us, a cushion of six, seven, eight points up and we could have killed the game. But we found ourselves in a dog fight that we didn’t contest and win it.”

The two-time All-Ireland winner has now competed his initial two-year term as Galway boss and was noncommittal on his future.

Galway enjoyed four wins from five prior to Covid hitting in March 2020, but since then they’ve shipped seven defeats in nine league and championship games.

“I will assess it. I had a two-year term so I’ll have to go and see do they want to keep me, or see do I want to stay. I’ll have to check that out. Lookit, today is not the day for that.

“We’re after losing a Connacht final to our bitter rivals. They were the better team on the day so we wish them well in three weeks’ time when they play the Leinster champions.”

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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