Manager Tommie Donohue confident the Exiles can still reach semi-finals
By Ruairi O’Connor and Damian Dolan
London Ladies boss Tommie Donohue is adamant the Exiles can play better, and will bounce back stronger from their All Ireland defeat to Carlow.
Despite a blistering start, London went down 3-8 to 1-12 to Carlow at McGovern Park, and must now beat Kilkenny and Lancashire in their remaining Group A fixtures if they are to reach the semi-finals.
But manager Donohue is confident the Exiles will progress, calling Saturday’s loss to the Leinster JFC champions a “chastening” experience, but one London needed. “I’m very confident we’ll still be in the mix,” said Donohue.
“Whoever knocks us out will go on to win the All Ireland, because we have a very good side.
“This was a little bit of a chastening experience, which is no harm to anyone. I’d rather get caught now. I feel we have the best individually talented players in my time in ladies football, but I also told them that they’re not the best team because that was really their first time playing together. We’ll be a different animal now.
“We were unlucky against Carlow on the basis of play, and that was not knowing our team and not playing well. I know we’re a lot better than that – we’re a lot better than that.
“It was really our first time out, and some of the players didn’t know the players around them because it was new to them, but they were very spirited afterwards despite the loss.
“We made a few changes in the second half after leaking the bad goals and shored things up where we had a few problems, and we were on top of them for the rest of the game. We found out a lot.
“The girls took it bad, they know they messed up, but they know we now have a job to do. They don’t like losing and we’re looking forward to Kilkenny now.”
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London suffered a two-point loss to Leinster Junior champions Carlow in the opening round of the All Ireland JFC Championship at McGovern Park, Ruislip.