AFTER seeing his side falling to a third All-Ireland defeat in the space of four seasons, Mourneabbey manager Shane Ronayne admitted that he was heartbroken for his players.
The Cork and Munster champions fought back from an eight-point deficit to give themselves a real chance in the closing stages, and even though they were ultimately second best to Mayo’s Carnacon, he was extremely proud of their performance in the game.
“We missed a lot of chances in the first-half that probably proved vital in the end. There was a bit of pressure on us then the start of the second-half, and we kind of pushed forward a bit to try to get back to three points and Carnacon kicked on. They went I think it was seven or eight up, but I just have to commend my own crowd. They kept going and kept going.
“It’s so disappointing. I’m just heartbroken for the girls. They’ve put so much effort into this, and they just can’t get over the line. I’m very, very proud of them and they kept fighting until the final whistle.”
While Mourneabbey are still searching for the holy grail of a senior title, Carnacon have now secured six All-Ireland successes.
A number of players - including skipper Cora Staunton - have been around for the majority of these wins, and Ronayne is full of admiration for the way continue to produce for their club.
“Hats off to them, they’re some side. There’s a fair amount of them on the other side of 30, and to be able to do that still. They’re a seasoned outfit and fair play to them. They’ve six All-Irelands won now, and probably just about deserved it on the day.”
Though this will be a hard one for Mourneabbey to take, they have shown remarkable resilience to bounce from their previous All-Ireland final losses. Ronayne is uncertain what the future holds for him and his management team, but has no doubt that the squad will remain united moving into 2018.
“It’s a long road back to this time next year, and that’s where we want to be. It’s too early to be saying what’s going to happen with different people, and the management and things like that.
“The community of Mourneabbey is incredible, the support we get. They’re all heartbroken, and we’re heartbroken for them as well. We’ll dust ourselves down. We’ll stick together, and we’ll have a look and see what we do next year,” Ronayne added.