DEFIANT Loughgiel Shamrocks supremo PJ O’Mullan was gutted after their All-Ireland semi-final replay surrender of their All-Ireland club crown but he has vowed: ‘We’ll be back’.
O’Mullan’s side were humbled in Clones by St Thomas’s of Galway by a 0-15 to 0-7 scoreline on Saturday.
The match was switched from Parnell Park late in the week to County Monaghan but Loughgiel did not travel well on this occasion.
The current crop of players at Loughgiel were wanting to go a step further than their 1983 heroes by landing back-to-back All-Ireland titles and proving they are a ‘great’ side.
And it all could have been so different if the Shamrocks had found the net in the early stage of this replay. But alas it was not to be with St Thomas finding their feet and pulling away from Loughgiel.
But O’Mullan has vowed to remain undaunted and get himself back on the road to Croke Park again next year by landing a fourth County Antrim title in a row.
He said: “We are a big club - we want to do well. We’ve plenty of young players there. Today is a hard step on the road for them. We’ll sit back and look at where we went wrong today and push on next year and try and win four-in-a-row in Antrim.”
PJ was left to rue the early chances his side failed to gobble up on Saturday.
He said: “Goals inspire you. They give you great confidence and tend to dig a nail into the heart of the other team.
“We had maybe three or four goal chances in the first ten or 15 minutes of the match and two or three wides and had we taken even half of them it would have been worth seven or eight points to us.
“But you can’t afford to miss those chances and in the second half they completely dominated us. The better team won on the day.
“They won most of the big battles and came out on top. We got the start we were looking for but when you miss a couple of goal chances like we did it’s hard to come back from it.
“The plan was to get them on the back foot and it didn’t work and in the second half they just took over,” said O’Mullan.
Loughgiel team: DD Quinn; P Gillan, N McGarry, M McFadden; James Campbell, M Scullion, Johnny Campbell; B McAuley, T McCloskey; L Watson (0-6 frees), D Laverty, E McCloskey (0-1); B McGarry, J Scullion, S Casey. Subs: O McFadden for B McAuley (42) S Dobbin for D Laverty (47). Blood sub: O McFadden for Johnny Campbell (39 to 42).