GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Former Dublin hurler Niall Corcoran admits bittersweet feeling after Laois win
Last Updated: 08/07/19 8:27am
Laois' shock win caused a bittersweet moment for Niall Corcoran after the ex-Dubs corner-back helped plot the downfall of his former side as a member of Eddie Brennan's backroom team.
At full-time, he admitted it was a difficult moment after his former team-mates were knocked out of the championship.
"It's definitely for me mixed emotions," he said. "Heartbreak for the Dublin lads because I know a lot of them and they're brilliant guys. Complete elation for the Laois lads because they've earned it since last October, working hard.
"I know the Dublin lads for a long time, played with some of them. They're a hugely ambitious, a hugely talented group of players and that game was never over until Alan Kelly blew the full-time whistle."
The O'Moore County celebrated the win in the Joe McDonagh Cup last weekend, and despite the quick turnaround to the All-Ireland series, they knuckled down and prepared for Dublin.
"They had a few pints Sunday night and they had a few more Monday," Corcoran explained.
"There was a bit of black smoke at training Tuesday and Wednesday. I guess the question was posed to them was what was the group's ambition? Is it the Joe McDonagh Cup or do they want more for themselves?
"As a management group we saw the ability that they do have, huge hurling, they showed it there [on Sunday]. It was about the ambition and did they want to go a step further and I think they answered that there out on the pitch. I think it was just phenomenal and I'm so delighted for them."
Focus now turns to another mammoth task, as they return to Croke Park for the meeting with Tipperary.
"Another huge challenge," Corcoran added. "We'll have to try to get our feet back on the ground.
"You're looking at a squad who have huge confidence after [Sunday].
"We'll be underdogs again but why not give it a go? They showed that they can hurl their way out of trouble and hurling is what it's all about and they thought their way out of trouble and that's everything we've worked on since last October.
"These are the games you want. The Joe McDonagh was great but these are the games you want in Croke Park. That's what the group wants."