Galway manager Alan Mulholland has voiced concern at the way the Tribesmen conceded late goals to allow Tipperary to narrow significantly the gap between the sides in their qualifier clash on Saturday.
The Tribesmen were well in control in Tullamore having scored four goals, but a late rally from Tipperary mean that Galway’s winning margin was just five points at the final whistle.
Asked whether Galway had been in control for long periods of the game, Mulholland told RTÉ; “I’d like to think we were, but I’m very disappointed at the end, the way we conceded the scores there. I think we retreated too much into our shell.
“But we got ourselves into a winning position. I suppose overall, looking back on the game, we have to be happy with that performance. It was always going to be a tight game, going into it.
“We stamped our authority maybe in the third quarter, but [I’m] just disappointed we let the goals in there at the end.”
"[We just need to] touch up on a few things defensively for next season, and we’re well able to compete with the top teams" - Peter Creedon
Mulholland suggested that the defensive frailty was an area on which Galway would have to work ahead of their all-Ireland quarter-final clash with Kerry on 3 August.
“We played reasonably well going forward, but I think, to let in 4-12, we’re going to have to look at that.”
Mulholland admitted it would be “a big ask” to face the Kingdom in Croke Park, “but it’s a good problem to have to solve,” he said.
Tipperary boss Peter Creedon, meanwhile, said his side had given themselves “too much to do” in the concession of four goals, but was able to find positives in defeat.
“The boys played great football in the second half,” Creedon told RTÉ Sport. “We’re well able to compete at this level; [we just need to] touch up on a few things defensively for next season, and we’re well able to compete with the top teams.”
He identified “four or five bad wides” in the first half as having proved costly for Tipperary, and suggested they had paid the price of playing attacking football.
“At times, when you [play attacking football], you run the risk of conceding at the back.”
Reflecting on Tipperary’s progress this year, Creedon said they had achieved their goals, but rued the one that got away.
“A great season for Tipperary, but maybe a missed opportunity as well,” he said.