Teddy McCarthy had just won his first championship game in Leinster, and in fact his first competitive game with Laois, and he was taking personal responsibility and credit for that achievement as he pondered on the year to date. “I am delighted with today’s victory. I am very disappointed that we did so very badly in the league. I suppose realistically and unfortunately it was my first year and it was a learning curve for me, and I depended on Brian and Christy, my co-selectors, to pick the panel of players and they did a fine job. Realistically I came in at a low ebb for Laois hurling at the time, and my biggest job was to get to know the players, to trust the players and above all for the players to trust me.
“The lads today were superb from goalkeeper right to the corner forward. They worked tremendously hard right throughout the pitch, their work rate was superb and we didn’t give Carlow a chance to settle. We started off the game running and the same in the second half, and we didn’t let Carlow settle on the ball much, and I think the quality of our scores was superb. One game doesn’t ever make a summer and we will have a huge task against Dublin. They are one of the top three or four teams in the country but that is where we want to be. That is where we want to be competing and that is where we will measure ourselves.”
Eyebrows had been raised when the team was announced with both corner backs surprise inclusions in those positions, but both more than justified their selection. “Well Gearoid was always in our plans. He came on for a couple of league games and we knew what he was capable of doing in training. Nobody sees Laois training. There doesn’t be five or six hundred people watching Laois training but look, realistically, we knew what he was doing there and in challenge games and it was very positive for Gearoid as he is very committed and it augurs well for Laois hurling to have young players like him coming through.
“As for Canice Coonan he has been around a bit and while corner back might not be his first choice he is a competent hurler, very cool, very calm on the ball and doesn’t get flustered and Darren Maher had a fine game as well
While scoring 20 points, the Laois full-forward line still was never really in the game. “No. I was very disappointed with that aspect of the game because I thought in the last 10 minutes of the first half, and for a period in the second half when we were on top, we played too much ball in the middle third of the pitch, a lot of short passing that wasn’t working and you wont hurt Carlow or any team in the middle third. I thought we lost the run of ourselves a bit and our tails were up and, unfortunately, they have to learn to get the ball into the full-forward line. We had three talented men in there and a great target man in Neil Foyle, but we didn’t get the ball in. I told them that at half time but I can’t go out and play for them. I can only get the messages in but obviously it wasn’t feeding through and I am not happy with that aspect of our play”
When asked would that performance be good enough against Dublin, Teddy turned the tables “I don’t know. I really don’t know. I’ll ask you. What do you think?”