Skehill: Our heads never dropped10/09/2012 - 11:18:46
If Galway manage to capture the Liam McCarthy Cup in three weeks' time, they will surely look back on yesterday's superb save by goalkeeper James Skehill as a key moment over the two games.
The Galway netminder succeeded in saving a goal-bound effort from Henry Shefflin with just minutes to remaining, although he gave away a penalty in the aftermath which Shefflin stuck over for a point.
"It was a penalty alright," said Skehill, who could afford a smile with Joe Canning's late free setting up a replay on Sunday, September 30.
"It was tough going, real hard work, there was serious pace to the game. With 70 minutes gone I would have taken the draw.
"I'm happy that we are not out and happy we can come back the next day and that we have a few more weeks to prepare."
In a first half that bore some resemblance to the Leinster final, Galway missed opportunities that they put away in that provincial decider. But Skehill was quick to give credit to his forwards who were still creating the chances and he also praised Kilkenny for their fightback in the second period.
"I didn't realise we had 20 minutes without a score, but the positive was that the lads were getting shots on. I know they went wide but the opportunities arose.
"We will go back to training now and try to work on them again. We are still in the Championship. We're not out."
The Cappataggle clubman continued: "You have to remember that Kilkenny are probably the greatest team of all time. If you have a five-point lead (as we did), they are not going to surrender fairly easily and they are going to come back at you and we knew that.
"There are no deflated feelings. Obviously every game you play you want to win it, but we didn't lose it and we're still in it."
Both teams will do it all again in three weeks' time, but Galway might feel they have the edge after avoiding defeat late on - showing the battling qualities that Skehill says they have been working on.
"I've been harping on about it for years. We have been developing a mental edge, a mental sharpness for years that even if we do go down by a few points, we are not going to surrender that and the heads never dropped."
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