‘We had our chances' says Giles, as minors snatch defeat from jaws of victory
Westmeath minor football manager, Joe Giles, was understandably disappointed after his side’s entirely preventable one-point defeat in Portlaoise last night, but he remained grateful that his troops still have a final round robin game and that their destiny in this year’s provincial championship is still very much in their own hands.
The bainisteoir opined: “It’s disappointing, but we just have to take the positives from it and get back on the horse again. It could be worse if we were out of the championship this evening. It’s still in our hands.
“We play Carlow next Wednesday and that’ll give lads the chance to make amends. We had our chances. We can’t blame anybody. We had goal chances that we didn’t take and, at this level, if you are shipping goals at one end and not taking your own at the other end, you will get punished.”
The Lake County lads got off to a blistering start which, naturally, pleased him. He stated: “We played some very good football in the first half but, having said that, the wind was very strong. Conditions were slippy enough.
“We targeted before the game that we would get off to a good start, go at them, and take them on. And we did that.
“But Laois are Laois when they are at home. They took over around the middle third in the second half, and they brought on a few subs who had an influence on the game as well. That’s the way it goes.
“I told the lads that they can’t bury their heads in the sand. We have to go again next week. We have put in a lot of work over the past couple of months. So we are not going to let tonight get us down.”
Astonishingly, Westmeath had the ball in the Laois net on no less than three occasions in the dramatic closing stages. However, no green flag was waved. The Coralstown/Kinnegad man concluded thus: “We had three ‘goals’ disallowed. I though Shane Reid’s was definitely a goal. I couldn’t see how that could be a square ball. We also had a late free overturned because of a lack of discipline.
“We have lots to learn. Hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes again the next day.
“Carlow won’t be easy. They are pretty good and they drew with Laois. It’ll be nip and tuck again on Wednesday.”