St Mullins manager Maurice Aywlard cut a disappointed figure in the way of defeat to Mount Leinster Rangers in the Carlow senior hurling final yesterday, his side losing out by eight points in the end.
On the hunt for back-to-back senior county titles, St. Mullins came up short in a 3-19 to 1-17 defeat at the hands of their near-neighbours and championship rivals.
“We didn’t turn up and we didn’t perform, that’s as simple as I can put it”, Aylward told KCLR after the final whistle.
“I just don’t know. Maybe it was the favourites tag and they weren’t able to live up to it. Having said that, the ‘Rangers were really up for it which I expected they would be, but I didn’t think that we’d be as down as we were. If we had to get a goal or two early in the second half we probably would have made a good game of it, but we didn’t. Rangers kept growing in confidence and every time we nearly got a score they replied almost straight away.”
Defeat means Mount Leinster Rangers return to the top of the Carlow senior hurling rankings and will represent the county in the Leinster championships later this autumn where they’re expected to face Kilkenny’s senior champions in the opening round of the knockouts.
“All the year we had been moving very well. This is the first big blip we’ve had really”, Aylward continued.
“We got through the semi-final easy enough, we got through all the league games. That’s the first defeat. I know it’s the wrong time to come, but we had been moving well and training had been good, we had big numbers in the field because the Intermediates were in the final as well and they won yesterday evening which, at least, we have something anyway at the end of the year.”
“Maybe a small thing could have changed the game, but that’s hurling – if you don’t take your few chances when you get them you’re not going to keep getting chances.”
“We finished up looking for the goal but maybe if we had kept tapping over the points, the goal might have come a bit easier. The old saying is ‘take the points and the goals will come’, but no, we were so far behind, seven or eight points. We thought if we got a goal, we would be back into the game and when we did get the goal, if we had to follow up with another, it might have been different but look the best team won on the day.”
You can listen back to the full interview below