Sat, Sep
20 New Articles

Westport star reflects on final defeat


EYES ON THE PRIZE Westport United’s James O’Donnell tries to win the ball ahead of Salthill Devon’s  Michael Gallagher during Sunday’s game. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Michael Duffy

CUP final defeats are always hard to take, especially by the narrowest of margins, and Westport United’s James O’Donnell was understandably disappointed after Salthill Devon lifted the Connacht Junior Cup at Solar 21 Park on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s fairly raw only a few minutes after the full-time whistle,” the number 11, whose 24th minute goal had the Covies dreaming of cup glory, told The Mayo News.
“Naturally we are disappointed, because we felt our game plan came off perfectly in the first half. Things just went against us a little after the break. But that’s finals, we had a good run in the competition and we have to keep the hard work up now as we have league games coming thick and fast. We can’t dwell on it.
“We knew that Salthill like a possession game, but they never really penetrated us in the first half, and we looked dangerous when we got Peter (Corcoran) on the ball, he was holding it up and bringing others into play.
“We took our chance when it came our way, and we were confident at half-time we could go on and win the game. But they got a stroke of luck to get them back into the game, and it gave them the momentum to go on and win it.”
O’Donnell was quick to defend Westport goalkeeper Gary Cunningham after he misjudged the flight of a Salthill free-kick on 54 minutes, in the lead up to Darren Browne’s own goal.
“Gary has saved us on countless occasions, I thought we were very unlucky for the ball to come off Darren the way it did for the own goal. We knew then they’d have phases in the game where they were likely to make chances and they took the second goal well.
“Overall, it’s disappointing, but we have a young squad, they’ll learn from this experience and we are lucky to have more games coming soon. We stuck together as a group during lockdown, we were focused on this competition and football has been great to us all during Covid-19. It’s been a tough few months but we have had the football as a social outlet and keeping us all in shape. It’s a pity we couldn’t go on and win it today but well done to Salthill.”

Latest Sport

Some more final thoughts

FOOTBALL Edwin McGreal looks at some of the relevant issues in the wake of Mayo’s All-Ireland Final defeat to Tyrone

Read more ...

Time for some perspective

FOOTBALL Billy Joe Padden feels there is too much noise around Mayo and the team after the latest All-Ireland Final loss

Read more ...

Why look back in anger?

FOOTBALL Ger Flanagan expands on some of the things that have struck him when watching and listening to the All-Ireland Final fall-out

Read more ...

What’s another year for Mayo?

FOOTBALL  Seán Rice feels that Tyrone weren’t given enough respect by some Mayo people in advance of the recent All-Ireland Final

Read more ...

Tickets required for club games

Anybody wishing to attend next weekend’s Mayo club championship matches will have to purchase a ticket in advance

Read more ...