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Attitude Of Manager Sums Up Sligo U20s After Incredible Win Over Kerry

Attitude Of Manager Sums Up Sligo U20s After Incredible Win Over Kerry
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Sligo have made history this evening, booking their place in an All-Ireland U20 final for the first time with a 1-8 to 0-9 victory over Kerry at Pearse Stadium.

Having won back-to-back Connacht titles, hopes were high that they could go one better than their 2022 showing by reaching the decider this season. That would be no easy task, with Tomás Ó Sé's talented Kerry outfit standing in the way.

It was a hard fought contest right from the first whistle, although Sligo would suffer a blow early on. Their captain and star man Cannice Mulligan was forced off inside the first ten minutes due to injury, adding to what was already a sizeable challenge.

However, they more than rose to the occasion.

Sligo produced some beautiful scores throughout, with this early goal proving to be a key moment in the game.


The two sides were level at the interval, although the Connacht side would have the better of the play in the second half.

This point late on opened up a two-point gap between the teams, which was ultimately the margin of victory.



Sligo U20 boss sums up brilliant attitude of team

Sligo have certainly not done this the easy way. They have now defeated Roscommon, Mayo, Galway, and Kerry to reach an All-Ireland final, the most difficult run you could imagine for a team coming through Connacht.

Speaking to TG4 after the game, Sligo manager Paul Henry perfectly encapsulated the brilliant attitude shown by his team in this game and throughout the championship. He also dedicated the win to one of his players Dillon Walsh, who was forced to miss the game after ending up in hospital due to an illness.

I'm kind of a bit speechless to be honest!

Cannice [Mulligan] got injured on us there very early, he has been a huge leader for us all year. You saw how he got Connacht players of the year there as well, that's because of the work he does for us and how he pushes these lads on.

For the lads then to turn around and go and fight like that all the way to the bitter end, I'm so proud of these lads. I'm so proud of them...

From the start we always thought that it would take a full panel to get these lads through it. We lost Matt Henry, we lost Dillon Walsh, then we lost Cannice. The lads came in and did an excellent and worked so hard...

No one can say we had an easy run or made it easy. The heart is pounding there at the minute, it's not good. Whoever it is (is in the final), Down or Kildare, these lads will go at it again. That's all we can ask them to do...

We will knuckle down again after today, those lads deserve to enjoy that crowd out there. I want to thank all the supporters that came out for us today, that was huge. When we were starting to struggle at different points in the game, they just kept us going and we could hear the Sligo roar. It was just brilliant.

One more thing, Dillon [Walsh] that was for you, that was four you big man.

A top class performance from an excellent team.

You certainly wouldn't back against them winning a first All-Ireland at this level in the weeks ahead.

SEE ALSO: 'We Felt The World Of GAA Was Ripe To Have A Film About It'

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