What they said … the football weekend in quotes

April 02, 2018

A view of the Hogan Stand before the Allianz FL Division 4 final clash between Carlow and Laois at Croke Park.
©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo.

"His status at the moment is that both Diarmuid and I agreed that what was best was that he would take a rest over these games. He has had a long number of years playing senior inter-county football, as have a lot of this group, so that decision was made in his best interests."

Once again, Jim Gavin had to field questions about Diarmuid Connolly's absence from the Dublin match day squad.

"We're disappointed with the result, but, taking everything into account, it was a great learning curve for the team. It was important we were there coming up the stretch. We gave away a few late points, but we learned a lot overall. I think five of those lads haven't kicked a championship ball yet, so it was important for us to see how they would react at headquarters."

Galway boss Kevin Walsh took a lot of positives from their gutsy performance against the Sky Blues.

"I don't think anybody is getting carried away with the type of match that was there. It was good that we don't show our hand too much at this time of the year, I'm really happy for the lads, they showed great fighting spirit, they could have shied away from it a few times."

The Rossies got their hands on the Division 2 silverware and the win will do Kevin McStay's side's confidence no harm at all ahead of the Connacht SFC

"In the second-half the loss of Dara McVeety was a huge turning point from our side of things, but you can't concede four goals and every time we made a mistake Roscommon punished us. It's something we'll have to look at."

Mattie McGleenan will look to address Cavan's defensive frailities in advance of their Ulster SFC campaign.

"Any day you walk up the steps in Croke Park is a good day, albeit lower down the divisions but that's where we are and you can only win what's in front of you. In fairness, the fellas did that today."

Kieran McGeeney guided the Orchard County to a two point victory over Fermanagh.

"Look, both teams know each other, we've watched them a number of times this year, they've watched us. From our point of view, it's set up as a great game to have in Brewster Park."

Rory Gallagher and the Ernesiders will have revenge on their mind when the two counties renew acquaintances in the Ulster SFC.

"These things are unfortunate and unnecessary for the team and the individual himself. For that I'd like to say we apologise for any offence caused, it wasn't obviously intentional on behalf of the Laois footballers so we'll move on. I think the guys showed good clarity of thought and good focus and will to win. As far as I'm concerned that is the end of it. We have to move on."

O'Moore County boss John Sugrue hopes to draw a line under Gary Walsh's controversial tweet which resulted in their top scorer being dropped from the squad for Saturday's Division 4 decider.

"It was the first game in Croke Park for a lot of these guys and there was a lot at stake and I think Laois just about deserved it. I thought we fought back very well and dominated the kick-outs in the second half and turned over the Laois kick-outs more often than not and we had them on the back foot but we couldn't force it home."

It was a case of so near and yet so far for Turlough O'Brien and the Barrowsiders.

"We found ourselves having to win our last two games to stay in the division. We put two good performances together and we won the two games, so we have to take the positives from that."

Wins against Down and Louth steered Andy McEntee's Meath away from relegation trouble in Division 2.

"It was a decent performance today, but obviously the damage was done earlier on, in the Clare game in particular, or we wouldn't be in the position we're in now. Fifteen wides against Clare, and five goal chances against Cavan. That's what cost us at the end of the day."

Down goalkeeping coach Neil Collins reflected on their relegation to Division 3 following their win over Tipperary.

"We got our noses in front at one stage but we never really looked like winning the game. It was hard to get the players up for a match that didn't mean anything so it was a pretty ordinary game."

Liam Kearns and the Premier County had nothing but pride to play for in Newry.

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