By Damian Dolan
After giving reigning Connacht champions and All-Ireland semi-finalists Galway the fright of their lives at McGovern Park, London goalscorer Killian Butler says the Exiles can use their performance as a springboard for the qualifiers.
The Tribesmen edged it 0-16 to 1-9 to set up a semi-final showdown with Sligo, but only after Butler had nearly added a second goal late on, which would have levelled the scores with just minutes remaining.
Shane Walsh’s last-gasp free ended the Exiles’ brave effort with Galway, and its manager Kevin Walsh, relieved to escape Ruislip with the win.
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“We put it up to one of the best teams in Ireland and that’s something to look positively on,” Butler told the Irish World. “I’m gutted we didn’t knick it.
“We can take this as a catalyst into the qualifiers and see what happens.”
Butler’s stunning first half goal had brought the home side back to within just two (0-8 to 1-3) just as the Tribesmen seemed to be going through the gears.
“When you’re playing against the best teams if you get an inkling it has to go in,” he said.
“The first one went in like a rocket, but I’m still annoyed about the second one. I’d have backed myself to score it.”
With Galway unable to shrug off a gutsy London team, Butler began to think that we could be in for a repeat of 2013, when London stunned Sligo in Ruislip.
“Things were going wrong for them, they hit a couple of awful handpasses across the goal and you think today might be the day,” he said.
“It was a good performance, but sadly we couldn’t knick it in the end.”