chaotic  | 

Galway boss Pádraic Joyce says penalty shoot-outs ‘not for GAA’ after dramatic finale

The Galway boss condemned the ugly brawl that erupted on the Cusack Stand touchline

Frank Roche

Pádraic Joyce has insisted penalty shootouts should be kept to soccer and are no way to end an All-Ireland quarter-final after his Galway charges survived a chaotic and controversy-filled Croke Park contest against Armagh this afternoon.

The Galway boss condemned the ugly brawl that erupted on the Cusack Stand touchline as both teams made their way to the tunnel at the end of normal-time, but his overriding post-match emotions were relief, pride - and sympathy for Armagh.

“In fairness, my heart does go out to Kieran McGeeney and the Armagh team and supporters, because it’s no way to lose a match,” said Joyce after Galway won the penalty shootout 4-1.

“We’re condensing this season into six or seven months, which is crazy, to be honest. Both sets of players, Galway and Armagh, have trained flat out since last December, and let’s call a spade a spade - that’s no way to lose a match.

“And while we take the victory, my heart goes out to them because they added great colour today and great support, and it’s not the way to do it and it’s something the GAA must look at … penalties is for soccer, it’s not for GAA, in my eyes.

“Look it, fair play to the Armagh players and the Galway players who took the penalties, and the two ‘keepers, because it’s a pure lottery what happens.”

Joyce hailed the character of his side for recovering from the double-whammy of two Armagh goals during a prolonged period of injury-time at the end of normal time, stretching to almost ten minutes.

On the subject of ugly brawl that ensued after Rian O’Neill’s late, late free to force extra-time, the Galway boss said: “Obviously the scenes at full-time, they were ugly, they shouldn’t be happening – but they happened at the same time.

Then we lost our captain in extra-time. I don’t understand how they pick out one player, but we’ll look at the video and see what happened there.

“Coming in at full-time, in feels nearly like a loss at this stage,” he added. “We were five-six up, I forget, and lost it. Then they found eight minutes’ injury-time and then played two extra more than that, they played ten.

“It was what it was but, in fairness to the lads, they showed great character and great resilience. Galway have been accused of being soft in the past, but at least today they put a little bit of mark on the good direction because Galway had to go and win a big game in Croke Park.

"And that was a big game, and a tough game; and look it, we’ll get ready for Derry in 13 days’ time.”

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