THE smile on John Crofton’s face said it all, writes Tommy Callaghan.
The Sarsfields boss was without question happy and content with his side’s display, their three point win and most of all their booking of a spot in the AIB Leinster Club semi final against Dublin champions, Ballymun Kickhams.
Not a man to go over board handing out the plaudits to his team at any stage and it was no surprise the first thing he pointed to after the game was the fact his side let the opposition in for a goal in time added on.
“We got a little bit disorganised at the end of that game, a game we were cruising to victory and were waiting for the final whistle and simply lost concentration a little.”
Cofton admitted that when St. Patrick’s were reduced to fourteen they (Sarsfields) seemed a little confused for a few minutes.
“Yet, that’s right, to the extent that we had a couple of specific man marking duties and that got interrupted somewhat as they changed their line-out it caught us just a little bit but I thought we came to terms with that for most of the second half.”
St. Patrick’s had won two titles in a row and three in the last five seasons, and the Sash manager was more than aware of their danger they possessed.
“They are physically very strong, very powerful all over the field with lots of pace and very well organised so we knew we had to move the ball quickly, which is our style anyway, but we knew if we held it up we would be punsiehd and the few times we did we paid the penalty but overall we have to be happy with the performance and the result.
We were very aware of being in front and knew from the Rhode game if they got a lead they would defend in big numbers, when they got the goal against Rhode they got 13 men behind the ball and defended so we were very aware of that from the word go.
The Sarsfiels man admitted that he has not looked at Ballymun but said that “we played St. Brigids a few times this year and I could not believe that Brigid’s were turned over in the semi final having been eight points up and to be beaten by six and when I looked at the Kilmacud team sheet that was simply something else but having talked to a few Dublin lads whose opinion I respect they thought Ballymun would do it so they must be a very very strong outfit, we have not seen them, did not go to the Dublin county final but we’ll see how it goes, we are now in the Leinster Club semi final and we couldn’t ask for any more this stage.”