United's focus returns to league action after cup final defeat

Having suffered EA Sports Cup final penalty shootout disappointment on Saturday against St Patrick's Athletic,  Galway United will be hoping to deliver a positive SSE Airtricity League premier division response when visiting Tallaght Stadium for an important fixture with Shamrock Rovers on Friday (8pm ).

An edgy cup decider went the distance following a scoreless draw after extra time, but the Saints eventually prevailed 4-3 on penalties as Jake Keegan and Andy O'Connell had spot-kicks saved by Conor O'Malley.

Galway boss Tommy Dunne admits his team needs to recover quickly to ease relegation worries as a half dozen vital league matches remain.

“There was a big effort from everybody involved,” Dunne says. “The boys worked right until the end and just fell at the final hurdle. What can you say? It is disappointing not to have the trophy after the effort that was put in.

“I thought the two keepers were decent on the night. In the penalties Pat’s probably just shaded it with the quality of penalties. I’ve no qualms with anybody. They had the nerve to take it. Conor O’Malley guessed right. That is what happened.

“Congratulations to St Pat’s. They are serious opposition. They had chances, we had some great chances especially in extra time too. We didn’t get over the line, but we have to move on quickly. We have spoken about that already.”

With Limerick FC, Sligo Rovers, Drogheda United, Longford Town, Derry City, and Bray Wanderers all involved in an intriguing scrap to avoid the drop, Dunne says Galway now need to get their focus.

“We have to get our disappointment out of the way quick to focus on the league. We have six cup finals coming up, we have to be at it with our mindset right between now and the end of the season.”

Dunne was encouraged by the diligent manner in which United battled during the Pat's tussle.

“Overall I can’t fault anyone. The guys were brilliant, they worked their socks off. They gave everything they had and they are bitterly disappointed. You don’t get these chances too often to pick up trophies. From our point we have to keep going to build up the club.”

A healthy 3,662 attendance watched the Pat's tie and Dunne is hopeful  the majority will return to the Dyke Road venue in the coming weeks to assist Galway's young squad.

“It was a fantastic crowd. There was a great atmosphere within the ground. With an atmosphere like that every week wouldn’t it be fantastic because these players work really, really hard. The club works hard and we possibly deserve a good percentage of them to come back to support us week in, week out. We will need it in the run in. We have big home games, Limerick, Sligo, and Pat’s on the last day. I think it will go to the last day. For us it is hugely important we keep going.”

United's test in Tallaght promises to be both physically and mentally demanding, so Dunne's charges will be particularly anxious to add to their points account as the campaign edges towards an exciting conclusion.

• Galway United Supporters' Trust will be running a bus to Friday's premier division match against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium, departingThe Dail Bar, Middle Street, Galway, at 4pm. To book a seat  contact Dominick Walsh 087-9163438 or Ronan Coleman 087-6972823.


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