Joy and despair: the view from the dressing rooms

Anthony Cunningham (St. Brigids team manager) One man who can take immense pride from  last Sunday’s county final win is St. Brigid’s manager Anthony Cunningham. He had masterminded many fine wins in the past and Sunday was no different as his St. Brigid’s team produced their best display of the season to capture the Fahy Cup and the three-in-a-row.   ‘I suppose it is a great achievement for these players but they probably don’t realise that now. It’ll be years down the line that this achievement will dawn on them and they will recognise it as their own piece of history.  ‘It was hard to keep the whole thing going after having won last year. It was a long season, but we’re just delighted to have won today.’    Although St. Brigid’s appeared to dominate throughout – apart from the opening exchanges – Anthony felt that there were certain incidents in the second half which had a massive bearing on the outcome. ‘There were turning points in the second half: Shane Curran’s save, Enda Ruane’s important interception and then there was the goal. I suppose it was experience and composure that got us through. St. Faithleach’s deserve a lot of credit. There was nothing between the teams really and they were threatening to score a goal towards the end’ added Anthony. Frankie Dolan (St. Brigid’s captain) Frankie Dolan has had some memorable days in his footballing career to date – being part of a Roscommon team which won a Connacht title in 2001, being nominated for an All-Star in 2003 and representing his county in Croke Park in recent years to name but a few. You can now add captaining his beloved club St. Brigid’s to a county title to that list of honours. On Sunday evening last ‘Captain Fantastic’ could not hide his delight at this latest impressive achievement. ‘Any time you win a county title is great. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good football or bad football. I think we definitely upped it today. This was probably our best performance all year’ said Frankie, who was instrumental in setting up the goal for his team which effectively ended the game as a contest.  ‘I won a Connacht title with Roscommon in 2001, we won the Connacht club Championship last year and now we have won our third county title in succession so this achievement is certainly up there with the best.  ‘We will enjoy this for the moment but we know we have to prepare for an assault on the club championship which begins in three or four weeks’ time against the Galway champions so we’ll just take a game by game and see how it pans out’ added Frankie, who is setting his sights on more club silverware in the not so distant future. Wally Burke (St. Faithleach’s manager) After the dust had settled in Hyde Park on Sunday evening a disappointed St. Faithleach’s manager, Wally Burke, took time to reflect on their second successive loss at the hands of St. Brigid’s in the county final.  ‘It’s heart-breaking. I mean we came down here today thinking we had a real chance but we only played for ten minutes of the first half and after that we didn’t play at all. ‘We had our chances. Shane Curran pulled off a great save at one point and then Frankie produced his magic to set them up for a goal and after that the game was over.  ‘We had three good goal chances and didn’t take any of them and you get punished for doing that at this level. Best of luck to Brigid’s in the next round.’   After guiding his team to two consecutive county finals – with the same outcome – Wally was sceptical about his own future. ‘I’ve finished my two-year term and I’ve been travelling from Dublin (for training) so I’ll have to take time to assess the situation because I may or may not be here next year’ added Wally.