17 August 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

It was understandable that there would be contrasting reactions at the end of last Sunday evening’s senior hurling championship final with Castleblayney celebrating the fact that they had retained the title and Inniskeen left to rue missed chances that could have seen them take their second senior hurling championship.

Castleblayney manager Paul Hughes immediately acknowledged that he had expected a tough game from Inniskeen and that was exactly what Castleblayney had got.
“Yes, absolutely that is what we got and Inniskeen to be fair to them have been putting it up to us for the last number of years. We knew coming here we were going to have to put on a big performance to try and retain our title. It was close all through and the lads held out well there at the end. I suppose I would like to think that we could have played better but that is maybe credit to Inniskeen for the way they put up to us.”

Conditions on the day were reasonably good if not quite ideal but the Castleblayney manager didn’t feel that the conditions had adversely affected his team’s performance.
“With the summer we have had that has been pretty much the conditions that we have been used to so the lads should have been well up for that and quite honestly I don’t think the conditions played a big part. I think maybe our performance was affected a little by the occasion rather than conditions. It is a county final after all and even though some of those guys there have been going for a few years I felt maybe we didn’t push on when we could have. As I said though, that is down to Inniskeen as well because they kept coming back at us.”

Castleblayney were not headed in the entire contest and with the exception of a couple of short periods they always held a slight edge but the manager felt that they had established their position in the early stages when they got off to a good start.
“It was essential that we got a good start and I think we went four up and that gave us a bit of a platform. I think then we had a couple of opportunities to push on, one in particular when Hugh (Byrne) went for a goal instead of sticking it over the bar and that helped us a little bit. At that stage though we had started to commit errors out around the middle of the field and that was something that we had been working with the lads on, not to play the ball through midfield. However we started to do that a little bit and I think that did help Inniskeen a bit because they were getting in amongst us and came back into the game. Inniskeen had also registered I think it was four wides in the first half and with only two points between us that didn’t help them either.”

The Castleblayney manager also acknowledged that as he prepares his side to go into the Ulster intermediate club championship there are a few things that he will have to work on.
“Yes absolutely, but you see for us our year doesn’t really get going until the middle or towards the end of June with the …

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