Portlaoise joint manager Mick Lillis admitted that Sunday’s Leinster Club SFC final was particularly hard to take, after he watched his side lose out to a late rally from Dublin champions St Vincent’s.
Portlaoise were four points up early in the second half, but a Shane Carthy goal and some excellent points from Tomas Quinn eventually saw the Marino side claim a fifth Leinster club title.
Speaking afterwards, a clearly devastated Lillis admitted it was a difficult defeat to accept. “I don’t really know how to sum it up, we just came up a bit short.
“It was there to be won, and I suppose maybe we made a couple of mistakes that cost us. They’re a good side, and we’re a good side, and we just came up that little bit short.
“I’d have to see it again really to see where it went wrong, but full credit to the lads. They worked their socks off, and that’s all we can ask of them. They gave their heart and their soul out there. I know you’d rather win after playing a bad game, but it’s just tough to take at this stage. It’s hard to lose two in a row, it’s not nice. I just feel sorry for the lads.”
While the sting of defeat was still hanging in the air, the Portlaoise boss was keen to pay tribute to his players for the battling qualities they had displayed throughout the year. “I would never question their heart, because they have got great gumption.
“They are very good competitors, they always want to win, that is what has gotten them to where they are, but I suppose we did not envisage coming here and conceding three goals.
“Ultimately, even though they conceded three as well, it’s hard to concede three to a Dublin team and come out as winners.”