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Downbeat Westmeath hurling boss bemoans 'basic errors’ in London

Wednesday, 19th February, 2014 1:36pm
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Downbeat Westmeath hurling boss bemoans 'basic errors’ in London

Westmeath hurling manager Brian Hanley.

Downbeat Westmeath hurling boss bemoans 'basic errors’ in London

Westmeath hurling manager Brian Hanley.


Westmeath senior hurling manager Brian Hanley pulled no punches after his side’s ultimately fortunate draw with London in the first round of the 2014 Allianz HL in Ruislip last Sunday, conceding that “in all honesty, we very lucky not to lose it”.

The Athenry man spelt out his feelings within minutes of the final whistle: “It was very disappointing that we didn’t close it out having shown great character to battle back and go three points up with three minutes to go, but you’ve got to say that we got a (league) point that our game certainly didn’t deserve."

"It wasn’t that London out-hurled us. We just coughed up so many basic errors, it’s frightening that you can do that many in one game. There’s no legislating for that. 

“You can’t blame a lack of hurling, it’s a lack of concentration. It’s very disappointing to have 'won’ the game and then let it slip,” he continued.

While the pitch looked okay from afar, the reality was different. Hanley explained: “One more shower of rain and that game would have been called off. It’s as simple as that and we knew that yesterday. Look it was very, very bad, but it was the same for both teams. I park that. London had to play on the same pitch. Credit to them, they did very, very well.”

When asked to hone in on positives from the below-par performance, Hanley responded: “We showed great character in a game that was slipping away. It is a task to come over here and get everything right. We were in the Annebrook (hotel) at six this morning. But you can use all that, and it’s only an excuse. You’ve got to perform. And we didn’t.”

Promptly returning to some obvious negatives, Hanley said: “We didn’t create goal chances. Two weeks ago we played Offaly, and that was just a shadow of that today. Certain individuals didn’t perform and we looked a bit lost in certain areas. That’s being frank about it. We have a lot to work on."

“That’s not good enough to get promoted. Nor should it be. This was not the start we wanted. We lost our first game last year to Kerry in Tralee and that performance today was on a par with that. I can’t put a finger on it. We prepared well. In my stint this is the best prepared we have been. We didn’t look like scoring enough. Only for Noel Conaty getting the scores and Philip Gilsenan being outstanding at midfield, nowhere else were we winning our positions. We won bits and pieces at times.

“It’s so disappointing, coughing up basic errors. Don’t get me wrong, these Westmeath hurlers are very, very good hurlers but it’s that first touch, you must be getting fed up of me saying it now, is what’s killing us.”

Looking ahead to the home game against Derry next Sunday, Hanley had further bad news: “Eoin Price is out, probably for the duration of the league. He got a bad break in his thumb. I saw a picture of it with his cast off. He’s definitely looking at another three weeks anyway. Aonghus Clarke is out long-term. Tommy Gallagher is just back. But I never use excuses and I don’t want to now."

"I came here today expecting to win with a team good enough to win. We didn’t and we were lucky to get a draw. I will be looking for a big reaction next Sunday against Derry. It’s going to take a bit of a job to pick them up now. We’re not out of the league campaign, but we didn’t do ourselves any favours today,” added Hanley.

 

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