Eddie Brennan said he was proud of his Laois players after their attempt to beat Tipperary, and reach the All-Ireland semi-final, fell short.
The O'Moore men scored a goal just before half-time through Ross King to give them hope. But Aaron Dunphy's sending off just after the break was a big blow.
Tipp kept Brennan's team at arm's length thereafter, to win by ten points, but he says that it's been a good year for them.
"Right here, right now, it's hard to take because you set your ambitions high," he told RTÉ Sport's Damien O'Meara afterwards.
"Your reach for the stars, effectively, as a player, and to be fair to my lads today they really, really gave it everything they had.
"We came up against a slick outfit, and the few times we did make mistakes they were ready to pounce, and they pounced very, very hard.
"Some of our decision making let us down at times, but that's because your're playing a top level team.
"Don't get me wrong, last weekend (beating Dublin) was brilliant, the Joe McDonagh final, top quality, but it's ultimately about days like this.
"You're only as good as your last match, but I'm not being critical of the players when I say that. I'm massively proud of them.
"Overall, it's been a massive year, we've so much positives out of it."
Dunphy's sending off came after some consultation between referee Colm Lyons and his officials, and Brennan wasn't convinced that the right call was made.
"For me, and I made no qualms about it, I think there was a level of guess work involved," according to the Laois manager.
"I've seen it inside, and yes there was a coming together, a whip-back of a hurl.
"I think we see that all the time though. Sometimes they get caught, sometimes they don't. For me, I was close by, and my stance on it is that.
"We faced an uphill battle after that. It's one of the areas we really tried to zone in on, that we keep our discipline.
"We could have been forgiven for just caving in. We didn't. We kept pushing and we kept prodding."
Their success on the pitch means Laois will be playing in the Leinster senior championship next summer.
Brennan says he'll be willing to call any player up to his 2020 panel, including those who opted out this year.
"I don't think anyone is going to take us too casually in the Leinster championship next year.
"I don't have any ill-feeling towards the guys that didn't get involved. There's more to life than hurling, don't get me wrong.
"I was a tad frustrated at it, because it was a opportunity for them to test themselves against the best.
"But look, I'm fierce proud of the bunch that we have in there.
"You give loyalty, you get loyalty, but the reality is that we have to go and seek out more players to fill out our squad a little bit more.
"That's the evolution of it, and that's the challenge that's there for the management team and the players."