Pádraic Joyce: ‘It is great for Galway’

By Cian O’Connell

Galway’s gritty third quarter performance was crucial according to manager Padraic Joyce following Saturday’s stirring All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final win over Dublin at Croke Park.

Trailing 0-11 to 0-7 at the interval, Cillian McDaid landed a delightful point within seconds of the restart as Galway staged an impressive comeback mission.

“We were four down at half-time, but at the same time at half time we come in, there was no roaring or shouting or panicking because we hadn’t played overly well,” Joyce reflected.

“Right after half time, that score Cillian got and that’s what, we targeted the first five, 10 minutes after half time, just solely, because if Dublin got the first one or two scores, sure it was game over, they would be six up.

“So, for us to claw back and keep in the game and take it down the stretch. You know, we’ve been questioned before in the past about soft mentality, not closing games out.”

Galway substitutes Céin D’Arcy, Johnny Heaney, and Tomo Culhane landed vital scores in a dramatic second period. “You’re a genius when it works out and you’re a clown when it doesn’t work out,” Joyce responded when asked about the impact of the players Galway summoned from the bench.

“There was no point in us having a bench full of Damien Comer and Shane Walsh and then bringing them on and trying to chase the game from seven or eight points down.

“We took a gamble on it and tried to keep them in the game as long as we can. We tried to keep Damien as close to the goal as we could, which worked out alright.

“Céin D’Arcy had a bit of a knock, he was a loss to us, but then he came on. Obviously, the nature of injuries, we played the last six, seven, eight minutes with probably 13 fully fit bodies on the pitch, unfortunately. But we got over it.”

Galway’s players and management believed that they could deliver at GAA headquarters. “It’s great for Galway, it’s great for supporters, I thought they were brilliant,” Joyce remarked.

“I know no-one gave us a prayer, quietly they’d be texting you saying ‘I hope you do well’, but the people inside the room that mattered knew that we had a great chance.

“We knew what we had to do, and thankfully, it came off and at least our supporters can get excited about two weeks’ time again.”