Like everyone else who witnessed what happened in Pearse Stadium last Saturday, Faithleach’s manager, Wally Burke, was stunned, elated and almost disbelieving at the final whistle as he watched his charges snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
“You couldn’t script it any better than that. If you saw a film with that ending you would not believe it. We stuck to our task, but really the black card killed us in the first half. We conceded 1-5 in ten minutes after a great start. We missed a few chances in the second half and I thought our subs were excellent again,” he said.
“I didn’t see who got the final touch to the ball for the goal but I don’t care who got it. It went in and that’s all that matters!”
Wally said that it was his team’s best performance of the championship.
“That was our best performance in this campaign and in fairness to Naomh Anna, it was a fantastic game of football. It was some game for the middle of January. The pitch was excellent too and we had a huge following from the parish. I don’t think there is anyone left in Lanesboro or Ballyleague today,” he said.
Wally said that his players wanted to win the Gene Byrne Cup, named after the St. Faithleach’s club legend.
“We talked about Gene Byrne there in the dressing room today. Gerry (his brother) is a selector but he couldn’t go out and play. We wanted this title so badly. We stuck to our guns. We looked dead and buried in that second half and we pulled it out of the fire. When we go into extra-time we always seem to find something,” he said.
“We were hoping to get a point to level it and then we sent it in high and you saw what happened. It’s a tough way to lose it for them (Naomh Anna). They won it in 2009 but today it’s our turn. What a day for the club and for everyone involved,” he concluded.