Maughan’s tribute to gallant losers

CROSSMOLINA coach John Maughan was loud in his praise of newcomers Strokestown after his side had to work hard to preserve their unbeaten record in Connacht.

“Strokestown really put it up to us. They are a tremendously gritty side and never allowed us to pull away. They gave us a ferocious contest in very testing conditions and we were never out of the woods until we got our final point in injury time,” said Maughan.

Maughan said in normal circumstances the game should not have gone ahead. “There was water all over the field and the howling wind made life desperately difficult for both sides. But at this time of year you have to contend with those sort of things.”

The Crossmolina boss said he was “reasonably pleased” with his side’s performance.

“Because of the dreadful underfoot conditions it was never going to be a fluent game of football and that did not suit our style. But I felt we applied ourselves well enough every time Strokestown came back at us.

“However, I did experience a bit of frustration when we lost possession going forward, but in the end we did just about enough to win on merit,” said Maughan, who previously won a Connacht medal with his home club in Ballina.

“We gave it our best shot but it was not good enough,” said Strokestown manager Pat Doory as he consoled his players. The former long-serving Roscommon full-back said: “I am immensely proud of the fight we put up. Very few gave us a chance of winning and in the heel of the hunt they have been proven right.

“But our lads did not die. They did not play particularly well in the first half and that cost us dearly. But they never gave up and fought like tigers to the bitter end.

“Crossmolina are a very skilful side and they showed that every time they found themselves in a tight corner. They deserved their victory but I am very proud of the way our lads performed with such passion and spirit.”

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