Holmes: Feeney loss harsh but not decisive

Pat Holmes admitted losing Castlebar Mitchels’ “spiritual leader” Richie Feeney to an early black card was a major setback yesterday.

Holmes: Feeney loss harsh but not decisive

He queried the decision so early in the game, but refused to put the defeat down to his automatic substitution, acknowledging they were bested by a stronger side.

“They’re a quality team and we knew that coming into the game today and we had to play to the best of our ability and everything had to go right for us.

“Unfortunately, we lost our spiritual leader Richie Feeney and that was a huge blow, but in fairness to the guys they kept plugging away.

“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say you were beaten by the better team and I think that was the case.”

Holmes said there were grounds for a Vincent’s black card shortly after the incident when Eamon Fennell brought down Gerard McDonagh.

“Richie isn’t a dirty player. It happened on the far side of the pitch and I didn’t see the replays of it, whether it was a bodycheck or something. It seemed to be harsh after three or four minutes and there was one shortly afterwards where a St Vincent’s guy pulled one of our guys down and he got away with it.

“The bottom line is you have to be able to overcome those setbacks and today we just didn’t. I’m not cribbing about the referee because normally it balances itself out over a game.”

He also paid tribute to his side for a historic effort.

“Any time you come here and don’t win you’re gutted but in saying that this is a team who failed to come out of Mayo for 20 years and won a county title. It’s a team that was intermediate in 2006 or 2007 and all of a sudden they have gone on a voyage, which is absolutely fabulous.

“They have represented the club with great distinction and honour.”

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