Davy Fitzgerald: Galway are not a "gutless" side

The Clare boss recovered after spending time in hospital this week and paid tribute to the Tribesmen this evening

Davy Fitzgerald

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer 

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald paid tribute to the Galway hurlers and praised their performance as they beat this evening as they beat Clare to book their spot in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Fitzgerald made no excuses for his side's defeat but did vent some frustration regarding the goal they conceded directly after the start of the second half.

"They were the better team today. I thought physically they dominated us from day one [sic] and fair play to them, we've nothing but admiration for the way they play," he told reporters after the game.

"How can you be a gutless team or a bad team if you go to two All-Ireland finals and win a Leinster title? You're not. They had plenty of motivation to play well today and they did. 

"We'd be a bit disappointed in the first half, we tried to run the ball into the net. We should have tried to get it over the bar. I wouldn't be happy with the two goals that we conceded, especially the one after half-time to put us 10 points down was an absolute killer.

"In saying that, I'm incredibly proud of my guys... What they have achieved hasn't been achieved in Clare hurling in a long time. I'm extremely proud of them."

He explained that the tactics Micheál Donoghue's side used negated their ability to attack them directly and forced them to go wide in an effort to get scores.

"Galway were unreal, they were fighting in packs, they didn't give you a chance on the ball. We knew that they'd attack us in packs and we said that as soon as they did we'd get the ball out wide as quick as we could. 

"They had a point to prove to certain people today and they did it. Fair play to them, they were well deserving of their victory. I take my hat off, I've nothing but admiration for how they played today. 

"They wouldn't let us run at them, we couldn't get a run at them. I think once or twice in the first half there were unlucky." 

He also thanked those who had wish him well during the week and said it was a "tough" couple of days as he recovered from medical treatment.

"Listen I must say thanks to you for asking, it's nice to have people who care. It's very important.

"It was a tough week, but all the nice comments help and this is where I'm most at home, out here... Listen it was grand. I was out there and I got through it, thanks be to God. There was a point during the week where I'd have given anything to be out there."