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07th May 2023

Epic scenes awaited Sligo team bus as they reach U20 All-Ireland final

Lee Costello


“I’m kind of a bit speechless to be honest.”

Sligo defeated Kerry in the semi-finals to reach the u20 All-Ireland final, and the fans could barely contain their excitement as they greeted their players in Tubbercurry.

The Connacht champions have certainly travelled the long road on their journey to reach the final and have come up against serious opposition in the process.

Mayo, Roscommon and Galway failed to beat the boys in black and white in the provincial championship, and a very promising Kerry team who conquered Munster, joined that list.


It certainly wasn’t an easy task beating The Kingdom, particularly with the injury list piling up, but it just highlights the resilience that this group of players possess, to keep rising to the challenge.

Over half an hour after the game, the fans were still on the pitch celebrating and soaking in the wonder of their county’s achievement.

When the team bus finally made it to Tubbercurry, they were greeted by singing fans who waited up to see them make the journey home.

Speaking to TG4 after the game, Sligo manager Paul Henry, spoke about the determination that his team has, and how they seem to jump over every hurdle put in front of them.

“I’m kind of a bit speechless to be honest!

“Cannice [Mulligan] got injured on us there very early, he has been a huge leader for us all year. You saw how he got Connacht players of the year there as well, that’s because of the work he does for us and how he pushes these lads on.

“For the lads then to turn around and go and fight like that all the way to the bitter end, I’m so proud of these lads. I’m so proud of them.

“From the start we always thought that it would take a full panel to get these lads through it. We lost Matt Henry, we lost Dillon Walsh, then we lost Cannice. The lads came in and did an excellent and worked so hard.

“No one can say we had an easy run or made it easy. The heart is pounding there at the minute, it’s not good. Whoever it is (is in the final), Down or Kildare, these lads will go at it again. That’s all we can ask them to do.

“We will knuckle down again after today, those lads deserve to enjoy that crowd out there. I want to thank all the supporters that came out for us today, that was huge. When we were starting to struggle at different points in the game, they just kept us going and we could hear the Sligo roar. It was just brilliant.

“One more thing, Dillon [Walsh] that was for you, that was four you big man.”

Sligo will now play Kildare in the u20 All-Ireland final.

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