What they said … the football weekend in quotes

June 10, 2019

Tyrone's Matthew Donnelly kicks a ball and breaks a flagstick in half at the same time during the Ulster SFC semi final against Donegal.

“Any day you beat Tyrone in the championship is a good day. I thought overall that we deserved to win the match but there is no silverware handed out there today.”

Declan Bonner was keeping his feet firmly on the ground after holders Donegal a return to the Anglo Celt Cup decider.

“Historically we have made a decent hand of availing of that opportunity. It’s all to do with the luck of the draw.”

Mickey Harte and Tyrone will bid to get the disappointment of their defeat to Donegal out of their system when they take on Longford in round 2 of the qualifiers.

“It’s a long time for a county like Cavan who have a great tradition. I am emotional because I know the work those lads have put in because they fully deserve it.”

Cavan’s have reached a first Ulster SFC final in 18 years under Mickey Graham’s watch.

“It’s tough but in fairness they died with their boots on.”

Down but not out – a qualifier date with Monaghan is next up for Kieran McGeeney and Armagh.

“We got some very good scores from open play which is great to see, interspersed with some loose passages. Ball not going to the Dublin man, that wouldn’t be good enough for the next game.”

Dublin turned the ball over 20 times against Kildare and that’s a statistic that Jim Gavin will want to address on the training field in the build-up to the Leinster final.

“You probably can’t understand how there can be positives from a 15-point defeat but there actually were in my mind.”

Gavin’s Kildare counterpart Cian O’Neill was happy with the battling qualities displayed by his players who created three goal scoring chances against the metropolitans.

“Certainly wasn’t a perfect performance, there’s loads of things on which we can improve.”

Meath qualified for a first Leinster SFC final in five years and, despite their 11-point winning margin over Laois, Andy McEntee will demand improvement ahead of their date with Dublin.

“The scoreboard doesn’t lie, 11 points is a good beating. We can’t hide from that now, we have to take it on the chin and try to get ourselves back to the training ground for the qualifiers.”

John Sugrue’s Laois side was paired with Derry in this morning’s round 2 qualifier draw.

“I’m just delighted to get through. There is always a hangover from losing your provincial championship match and we knew that would be the case.”

Malachy O’Rourke put one over his native Fermanagh at Clones.

“We’ll have to talk.”

Rory Gallagher was non-committal when asked about his future as Fermanagh manager.

“I’m four years here, there might have been one more year in it, but I felt after the results this year that it was time.”

Liam Kearns parted company with the Premier County footballers following their qualifier exit at the hands of Down.

“The Ulster Championship is fantastic and now we’re into the qualifiers and this is what Championship football is about. A good tight game, you want players to experience that as well so I think we’re all learning. That’s the key.”

Paddy Tally guided the Mourne County to a three-point victory.

“He’s top class, he a great finisher, he proved it there again this afternoon.”

Bernard Allen came in for special praise from Offaly manager John Maughan following his 11-point haul against London.

“We played some quality football, controlled the game, kept our composure throughout the 70 minutes. We did what we really had to do.”

It was mission accomplished for Damien McErlain and Derry.

“There were times in that game where we had to build ourselves back into it, but you couldn’t fault the resolve.”

Leitrim dug out a two-point win over Wicklow and Terry Hyland was happy with the application of his players.

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