Before this showdown, Kevin Walsh said that if Sligo produced the goods then anything was possible. This is what transpired as Sligo, playing deliciously well, especially in the second-half, put a fancied Galway side to the sword.Sligo’s Senior team manager, summarising the outcome afterwards, said: “This had to be a big game [from Sligo]. But I always say that everytime we go out we intend to put in a performance.”
“The gods can go against you at different times. There are lots of things outside your control. All we can do is what we can to take us where we want to go.”
“Once the boys do what they can and they can do no better then if things go against you we’ll take it on the chin. There is nothing worse than coming off a pitch knowing you haven’t performed. Hopefully there is another game like that in them.”
“It was a hard game for Galway to come into. They were red-hot favourites with a young team. But I’m delighted for the lads. They’ve put in a lot of work over the past four years. But it is just another match, that is the way we are treating it.”
Although trailing 0-9 to 0-5 at the break, Walsh felt there was still room for Sligo to express themselves.
“We went in at half-time having scored five points from play, Galway had scored seven of their nine from frees. We felt we were well in the game.”
“We felt that with the breeze we could deliver ball quicker. In the first-half we found it hard to get ball into the forwards. We had to be patient. We didn’t want to just kick the ball up for the sake of getting it into their half.”
“Maybe it looked like we were too patient but we didn’t want to give the ball away so we might have put pressure on ourselves that way. Definitely the forwards were moving well [in the second-half] and that it what we wanted.”
David Kelly’s presence got the fans buzzing and, alongside Adrian Marren, the talisman made an invaluable contribution. Walsh felt the decision to select the pacy, diminutive playmaker was the right one.
“David Kelly hasn’t a lot of work done but the sign of a really committed player is someone who looks after himself when they are not playing games, doing the dirty work so to speak, training maybe three times as hard to keep themselves in shape.”
“We are training four times a week and we had two challenge games before this one. We saw enough from David Kelly to make that call. As of now we feel that call was right. He is a class player.”
With a Connacht final on July 15 to come against either Leitrim or Mayo (who meet on June 24), Walsh remains pragmatic.
“We were written off the experts and that is the [ideal] way to be. We won’t be fully written off the next time in the Connacht final but we’ve a huge job to do. There were lots of brilliant performances out there [against Galway] but lots of improvement needed as well.”
“If Mayo beat Leitrim we are heading into the lion’s den in relation to having to face the Division One finalists. On the day I will be looking for another huge performance.”