ALL-IRELAND HURLING QUARTER-FINAL: MURPHY PROUD OF TRIBESMEN DESPITE RESULT.
Mattie Murphy and his Galway management team instructed a steward to guard the dressing-room door and vet journalists seeking his wonderful words of wisdom in the traditional scramble for aftermatch quotes in Croke Park yesterday.
Murphy, who enjoys a rather curious relationship with the media, is apparently unhappy with the tone and "inaccuracy" of recent commentary and sought to separate the wheat from the chaff.
A handful of journalists found themselves on the hitlist (including this one) and were stopped and prevented from entering the dressing-room and hearing Murphy's wonderful eloquence.
Connacht Tribune sportswriter John Fallon was also stopped in his tracks which is sure to cause controversy in the west this week.
Murphy is deeply suspicious of most media outlets and has fought ongoing battles with reporters in the past.
He told other reporters that pride was the outstanding emotion which he felt in the immediate aftermath of a pulsating match.
He bemoaned the fact that they were forced to use their three substitutes so early in the game.
"We would have liked to have replaced some players but we couldn't because we ran out of options," he said.
"We had no comeback after we used our third substitute," he added.
Murphy reported that his players were "bruised, battered but not broken." afterwards.
He admitted that 2-18 was a good score but both sides had periods of total dominance.
Murphy refused to be drawn on the decision of referee Pat Horan to blow full-time just as Galway looked set to win a free.
"There are a whole lot of circumstances which looked out of our control," he said.
Clare manager Ger Loughnane quite naturally praised the character of his team.
"That will be our biggest legacy," he admitted. "Whenever this character was called into question, whenever things were going really wrong we always seemed to be able to produce the goods."
Loughnane admitted that when Galway were nine points clear "it was only a matter of pushing us over the edge. In fact we were gone over the edge."
"But I think the introduction of Jamesie lifted the weight off the forwards. They seemed lighter in themselves and we seemed to have a lot more penetration when he came on. We could have won the game then.
"We're glad to get another day at it," he admitted. "So many people say it's for winning the All-Ireland. But what's hurling. It's for day's like today. The second half is what people will remember. The hurling from both sides, especially Clare coming back from nine points down when all seemed lost. "They are the great days. You think it's pressure but it's brilliant and long may that continue."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 26, 1999|
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