Down boss: We’ll be back to win All-Ireland
Down manager James McCartan last night sent out a defiant message following his side’s disappointing All-Ireland final defeat to Cork, by blasting: We’ll be back.
It was the first time that the Mourne men had ever lost a Sam Maguire trophy decider, with victory over the Rebels proving to be a bridge too far for Down, who were sunk by a single point, losing 0-16 to 0-15.
But having gone on an amazing All-Ireland Championship adventure, via the qualifiers, McCartan told the tens of thousands of Down fans who had made the journey to Croke Park yesterday that he has the squad at his disposal to make sure that this is far from a flash in the pan.
“We got beaten in an All-Ireland final, we're not happy with it but the thing I would like is that we wouldn't be one-year wonders,” he said.
“We'll try and ensure we're not, we think we have a squad that can compete year-in, year-out.”
And Danny Hughes, one of the veterans of McCartan’s squad, whose experience has proved invaluable in this quest for ‘Sam’, backed up his boss’ stance.
“None of us want to be one-hit wonders,” stressed the disappointed Saval clubman.
“There is a great wee development squad coming through and these boys are all hungry. We'll probably have to tell them in the next couple of months that these things (finals) don't happen every year, but I'm sure we'll learn from this experience and use it in the next couple of years.”
While there was heartbreak for Down, there was delight for Tyrone Minors who took the All Ireland crown with a thrilling 1-13 to 1-12 triumph against Cork.
Harry Og Conlon's goal helped the Red Hand youngsters to a 1-6 to 0-5 half-time lead.
Tyrone then moved 1-12 to 0-7 ahead and looked certain winners but a Kevin Hallissey goal lifted Cork who battled back to give the Ulster side a real fright.