What they said … the weekend in quotes

November 13, 2017

"If we get three 'overs', we're right back in the mix. It's game on, we can improve. I think there is more improvement in us than there is in Australia."

Ireland trail Australia by 10 points heading into next Saturday's second IRS test in Perth and vice-captain Conor McManus is upbeat about their chances of clawing back the deficit.

"Unlucky that we might have been a wee bit closer. We had a couple of chances late on to get a goal that might have helped us, but it is what it is. It's 10 points and the game's not over."

Joe Kernan echoed McManus' sentiments.

"We're blessed with the squad we were able to put together."

Australian manager Chris Scott hailed his players following their performance.

"I suppose we're a big fish in a small pond in Wicklow but outside of that people mightn't have given us a chance. Written off by everyone bar ourselves."

Rathnew's shock victory over the Dublin champions St Vincent's came as no surprise to Leighton Glynn.

"We knew it was going to be a massive task. But we felt if we played as well as we could possible play, we could give them a good go."

Harry Murphy had faith in his players.

"I was just thinking the same as any other one. Rattle it in."

Former Wicklow star James Stafford netted Rathnew's all-important goal.

"We said earlier on today, we started off 2017 as one of 16 teams that had a chance of winning a Kildare county championship. By 5pm today we wanted to be one of 10 teams left in Ireland… so unless there was any other draws in the other provinces, there'll be 10 teams left and we're one of those."

Moorefield manager Ross Glavin will be hoping to bring Rathnew's run to an end at the semi-final stage.

"We felt we left it behind us here last year. Those lads were very focused. We were very disappointed with the way we started, we weren't firing on all cylinders but we knew that there were players chomping at the bit. Those four (substitutes) really made the difference."

Luke Dempsey and St Loman's gained revenge on Mullinalaghta of Longford.

"Obviously (the schedule) is a worry because at this time of year pitches are that bit heavier, so it is more difficult and the chances of picking up knocks are strains is greater. At the same time, if you are playing matches in October and November you are in a very happy place."

It was business as usual for Dr Crokes and their selector Harry O'Neill.

"This is a different team even again from last year, they have moved up a level again and they are going to take a lot of stopping."

The Kerry champions are the team to beat, according to Kilmurry Ibrickane manager Aidan Moloney.

"You just have to make sure that the lads are focused, that they're not taking the opposition for granted and that they treat them with respect. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't - if you go out and play badly you'll be criticised and if you score 3-17 people will say that the other team were no good."

Larry Kavanagh's Nemo Rangers troops didn't leave anything to chance against Adare.

"These are the games we will talk about in years to come. You see the buzz it gives around the parish and we got brilliant support today. We will be hoping for more in two weeks' time."

Long-serving defender Kieran Fitzgerald and Corofin march on to another Connacht SFC final appearance.

"It was tough but that's life. We had the chances, especially in normal time, with a few frees that would have put us ahead coming down the final straight. You do that against Corofin, it will come back and haunt you."

St Brigid's boss Frankie Dolan was left to ponder what might have been.

"We played Tourlestrane last year and I think they are a well improved side since then. They were very, very defensive last year but they also had a real attacking threat this year too, breaking at pace. It was tough there in the first half for us; we had to dig deep."

Declan Shaw and Castlebar Mitchels booked their place in the provincial decider at the expense of Sligo's Tourlestrane.

"I suppose they had their goal chances in either half that they didn't put away. It could have left it a different result or a lot closer anyway. At half-time, we knew what they were capable of. Things went for us in the second half. We got the scores when we needed and it gave us a platform to go on."

Holders Slaughtneil scraped over Kilcar in Omagh on Saturday evening and assistant manager John Joe Kearney admitted it was too close for comfort at times.



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