Cunningham disappointed as Galway lose second final in four years

Galway Senior Hurling manager Anthony Cunningham was extremely disappointed, after his side lost their second All-Ireland Final in four years at Kilkenny's expense in Croke Park this afternoon.

The Tribesmen took the Cats to a replay in 2012, before Kilkenny came out on top, and it was yet again another hard luck story in front of 82,300 spectators at GAA Headquarters.

"We are very, very disappointed," Cunningham said after the game.

Cunningham disappointed as Galway lose second final in four years

"It's a difficult one - very, very difficult. We were in a very strong position at half-time and I suppose just came up short in the second half in two or three different areas and were punished by an outstanding team really, and a team that has massive experience, and massive hurlers.

"Our congratulations to Kilkenny - they punished us there in the second half.

"It's a huge disappointment, but no fault to anybody, or no blame to anybody.

"We have to be hugely proud as Galwaymen of this team, and the effort that they brought and the hurling that they brought all year.

"They showed it again today, and that's why it is so, so hard."

Cunningham made no excuses for Johnny Coen getting a bit of luck in receiving a yellow card in the opening half, but he felt some decisions by referee James Owens were hard on Galway in the closing 35 minutes.

"James Owens overall had a fine game, but maybe some of the decisions at the start of the second half, when he stops and looks at it, he will be the first to agree that a couple of core decisions didn't go our way.

"Maybe they could have and should have, but that's hurling. In parallel to that, we had a few points that we should have got and unforced errors really in good positions to narrow the gap.

"They probably went a bit more defensive in the second half, and that coupled with unforced errors from us, a couple of decisions against us, and some good hurling played by them.

"That was it really.

"We probably could have been a bit more ahead at half-time as well, but you are playing Kilkenny so.

"It ebbed and flowed a bit in the first half and I don't think that was the winning and losing of the game, but in the second half we panicked a bit and had some bad wides, and then a few decisions against us.

"That's extremely hard to get better at, but it's something we'll have to get better at. We need to improve massively to get there. It's within our grasp. I think it's within inches of us, but it is how we react."

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