Joyce ‘sickened’ by Comer injury after win over Derry

Joyce ‘sickened’ by Comer injury after win over Derry
Joyce ‘sickened’ by Comer injury after win over Derry

Galway manager Pádraic Joyce was highly satisfied with his side’s performance in their win over Derry but said he was “sickened” by the injury suffered by Damien Comer, which leaves him doubtful for the remainder of the round robin phase.

The Connacht champions maintained their flawless championship record against Derry with a five-point win in Salthill, second half goals palmed home by Sean Kelly and Céin Darcy sending them on their way to a 2-14 to 0-15 victory.

“Enjoyable to win it, to be honest,” Joyce told RTÉ Sport’s Adrian Eames after the game.

“It’s a good score, 2-14. We had a feeling that Derry were going to go defensive and probably play a little bit of that Tyrone-style football. “But our lads coped with it really well and came to grips with it very quickly which was great.

“Once we got 8-6 up at half-time, I felt we were in a good spot.

“The key moment of the game was the kickout we turned over and forced the goal. Got a good advantage from the referee, which is the way advantage should be played. And pushed on from there. It was good.”

Sean Kelly slaps home Galway’s opening goal

One of the game’s pivotal moments occurred after 20 minutes, when Gareth McKinless was shown a straight red for stamping on the prone ankle of Comer after a free had been awarded.

While Galway exploited the extra man to good effect in the second half, they did so without Comer, who had to hobble off the pitch shortly after half-time.

The Galway manager was irate in the manner of his star attacker’s injury and sounded a relatively gloomy note about his prognosis in the coming weeks.

“It’s very hard to understand that a man would deliberately go out and try to hurt a fella,” Joyce sighed.

“I’m just sickened that that has happened to Damien. But look, nothing we can do about it.

“Punishment will come for that, no doubt.

“We have to count the cost of Damien’s injury and see where we go from that.”

“I’m just sickened that that has happened to Damien. But look, nothing we can do about it. Punishment will come for that, no doubt.”

Injury-wise, Joyce stressed that Galway were in reasonable shape, at least in comparison to their jobs in the league.

“Rob got a knock on the knee. Sean’s just tight, but I think he’s okay. John Maher wasn’t feeling well but we got enough out of him today. We’re not in bad shape to be honest but Damien is the big concern

“A man steps on his ankle. It’s very hard to… He (Comer) thought it was okay but came off at the end. It doesn’t look good but we’ll see.”

Derry’s six-week hiatus was thought to give them the edge in the eyes of many pundits, in contrast to Galway, on the comedown following their Connacht title triumph over Mayo a fortnight ago.

However, Joyce insisted it was no trouble whatsoever to get the players re-focused for the visit of Derry, stressing that they had made sure to reveal in their third provincial title on the bounce.

“We really enjoyed winning the Connacht final. I always tell the lads they need to enjoy these moments.

“Because life is too serious sometimes and football can get very, very serious.

“We had a great night as a group on Sunday night. And the lads went for a bonding day, should I say, on the Monday.

“We came back training on Tuesday night, we put the Connacht Cup away and we focused on Derry.”

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