Wednesday, 1 April 2015

At the final whistle ... what they said

Qualter happy to be heading to London with silverware – and heads held high

Seamus Qualter (Roscommon manager)

“I’m delighted for the lads. They are a great bunch. You saw it yourself there today. We were not going to give in and we were not leaving here today without a win. It would be another year to get back to this stage again and to be quite honest with you this is nearly more important than winning the Nicky Rackard Cup. Now we will be going for that (Nicky Rackard) for sure but it is so important to step up in the league. 

  “Next year we will be playing Westmeath and Kildare and Meath and that is what we want. Today was a championship match in all but name and I think that the Louth match last week brought us on a ton. We had a lot to prove. We played poorly enough and felt we didn’t do ourselves justice when we met Mayo earlier in the league so to win today was great. 

  “Once we got the nerves out of our system at half-time we were fine. We threw everything at it in the second half and it worked out great. We felt that in the first half we were in third gear and they were in fifth gear so we needed to up the effort – and we did that. 

  “We had great performances today from our big players like Micheal Kelly, Declan Nolan and Kevin Conneely – who could win the ball in the air – but it was a super all-round team effort. Seventeen points is great shooting and I’m happy with that too. 

  “We are heading to London next weekend with our heads up and we will have a real cut at that now. They will be tough to beat with all the players they have got in recently, but we are on a roll. We will celebrate this today and tonight and it is great for these lads to win a bit of silverware.”

Anthony Flaherty (Roscommon Hurling Board Chairman)

“We are thrilled. We have a very young panel. It was difficult enough to get the momentum going early in the year but in the last month or do it has really come together. 

  “There is a great spirit in the squad and the win against Louth was a great spur. There has been a full turn-out at training in the past few weeks and it showed today and hopefully we can carry it forward to the championship now. 

  “We are looking forward to playing London next weekend. They have a great team in London now but we will travel over in confidence. But today is a mighty for Roscommon hurling because we wanted to gain promotion to a higher level in the league and that’s what we have done. It’s a great credit to everyone involved.”

Shane Curley (Roscommon captain)

“We have been working towards this day for the past 15 months….since Seamus Qualter took over. We were very disappointed last year when we lost to London after extra-time and we were dejected that day but today makes up for it. It was a great win today. 

  “Our season really got going last weekend with the win against Louth and you could feel the confidence rising among the lads. We were delighted with our display today. We had to grind out that win and it wasn’t easy, but we fought hard. 

  “We have a tough assignment against London next weekend but we will think about that tomorrow. We will celebrate this tonight and we will go to London and do our best and let’s see where that takes us. We have a great bunch of lads and management and it’s a super day for the team and everyone involved.”

Interviews: Seamus Duke.