What they said ... the weekend in quotes

July 17, 2017

"That part of the pitch was replaced from the concert last weekend and it wasn't great now for both teams, and it's probably something the GAA need to have a little reflection on."

Croke Park wasn't pitch perfect as far as Jim Gavin was concerned.

"We knew that coming in, that turnovers are their oxygen where they can really hurt us. Unfortunately I think they scored 1-5 directly off turnovers today. That's just not something on a scoreboard, it's a psychological hit there as well because you had the ball, you were controlling the game."

The Lilywhites didn't do themselves any favours, according to Cian O'Neill

"We were expecting a fight back. Especially after half-time we knew they'd come out fighting. We look forward to it and we embrace the challenge. It's great to get over the line. Kildare were unlucky with a couple of their shots, we executed ours. That's the way it goes."

Man of the moment Con O'Callaghan announced his arrival on the big stage in some style.

"To stand here with my wife, my children and my brother is really, really special, this is what the GAA is all about, knowing that we are going to have these memories in the years to come."

It was a day to remember for his family as Sean Cavanagh lifted the Anglo Celt Cup for the second year running.

"We fall too often in a quarter-final for our own good. We need to be very focused in what we're about and prepare for this quarter-final. It's an awful place to go out after you have just won a provincial title. It's not a place you want to be so we will be very focused for the next couple of weeks until we play that game."

Mickey Harte has switched his focus to the All-Ireland series.

"I thought in the second half Tyrone upped the intensity and were coming at us in threes and fours. It's probably something we need to look at going forward, but today is another step along the line."

Down boss Eamonn Burns conceded that the better team won in Clones.

"Again, it's only one step, but we have rallied around each other and picked each other up. Game by game we are improving, but again we are going up another level. There is improvement there, but we have a lot of work to do."

Defeated Leinster finalists Kildare are next up for selector Paddy McKeever and the Orchard County.

"Look, I'm not going to comment too much on the referee, but I'm very disappointed with the referee. All I could see from him was this (diving motion). My players don't dive, and he was calling dives all over the pitch. I just could not understand that."

The performance of referee Paddy Neilan left Tipp manager Liam Kearns scratching his head.

"It's outrageous, this thing about B championships just annoys me, it sickens me, to be quite honest. Any team that prepares properly can compete in the All-Ireland championship, there's no doubt about it. I think that game should be a lesson to everyone in the lower ranked counties that you can compete if you get your act together instead of throwing in the towel before the championship has started at all, which is what's happened in Leinster."

It's fair to say that Carlow manager Turlough O'Brien is not a fan of talk about a two tier championship structure!

"I don't know where we're at. What I do know is that we're through to the last 12 in the qualifiers, the All-Ireland championship, and that's a great place for us to be. I know we have a lot to improve on from today's performance."

Malachy O'Rourke and Monaghan survived a scare against the Barrowsiders.

"There are always issues when you get 35 or 38 adults working together there's always going to be issues or differences of opinion. But it just got to a stage where players were saying, 'no', they wanted a change. It led me to a position where I felt it made no sense for me to stay as manager. I took the decision to stand down."

Player power has forced Pete McGrath to call it quits as Fermanagh senior football manager.

"It's an easy cop out to get rid of the manager, if you want to look for fall guys, players should look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves have they delivered. I don't think they have but Pete certainly has delivered for Fermanagh and owes nothing to them. A great footballing man and a great coach."

Sunday Game analyst Pat Spillane was highly critical of the Fermanagh players' actions.



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