“I think that's an unfair question today, 20 minutes after losing here with Cuala which is a team that's very close to my heart. So it's... today was all about Cuala. These guys I've always said are a special group, a special group of players... today is just about keeping the group together and just getting over this little obstacle.”
Mattie Kenny was in no mood to entertain talk of the Dublin senior hurling manager vacancy after Cuala relinquished their Dublin, Leinster and Al-Ireland titles in Parnell Park yesterday.
“Eventually all great teams will be beaten. And to me, they have been just outstanding champions. I would equate what they have done with Dublin winning the four-in-a-row in the football.”
Two-time All-Ireland winning Clare captain Anthony Daly masterminded the Dalkey outfit’s downfall as manager of Kilmacud Crokes.
“You are always nervous on the line, especially with that lead and the wind picked up, and Paul Finlay went inside. He is definitely a serious outlet for them and we ended up having to get a lot of men behind the ball.”
Kieran Donnelly guided Scotstown to a Monaghan SFC four in a row.
“We wouldn’t have won the five in a row without being beaten by Passage that day for sure. It was the toughest defeat we’ve ever suffered in the club. Just the manner of it. We thought we were home and Passage came back. That drove us on.”
The harsh lessons learnt in a final defat to Passage six years ago have been put to good use by Fergal Hartley and Ballygunner.
“You get a great sense of satisfaction out of watching a team develop and improve throughout the season. These lads deserve everything they get.”
Offaly legend Joachim Kelly derived great pleasure out of Coolderry’s win over Kilcormac-Killoughey.
“Club hurling is very strong in Offaly, there’s nothing between the eight teams. I firmly believe there are really good hurlers in Offaly but it will take a lot of work to take it up where it needs to be.”
Coolderry’s top scorer Brian Carroll is optimistic about the future of the small ball code in the Faithful County.
“I do believe there’s a need for some experimentation because I think the game as a spectacle is suffering a wee bit at the minute. That’s mainly to do with the amount of people going back in defence. I’m not sure if these rules are going to be the answer.”
Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke isn’t convinced the proposed gaelic football rule changes will combat the widespread use of the blanket defence.
“There are going to be new players. Thanks to the great work done by Mike Solan over the last few years there are younger players and some may make it this year and some over the next few years.”
Newly appointed Mayo boss James Horan intends to organise trials in the weeks ahead.
“It's one of these injuries that you really need to take on a week-to-week basis and not set yourself too difficult a goal. But I am very determined that I will get back playing with Mayo next summer and I will do everything in my power to do that.”
Injured midfielder Tom Parsons hopes to make the cut for 2019.