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Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Sunday, 19 September 2010 17:56 UK

Down manager James McCartan is proud of Mourne players

James McCartan says the Down players can hold their heads high after the narrow All-Ireland Final defeat by Cork

Down manager James McCartan says his players should be proud of their efforts this season despite losing by a point to Cork in the All-Ireland final.

"I told the players to be proud of what they have achieved this year and to take in the bad feeling so that they don't want to experience it again.

"We are disappointed but the players can hold their heads high.

"We want to return to Croke Park on future occasions - we don't want to be one-year wonders," said McCartan.

The Down boss added that the third quarter of the game had been crucial, a period in which Cork recovered from a three-point half-time deficit to take the lead.

"We could and perhaps should have been further ahead at half-time and in the second half we felt we still had our best men out there - with Ambrose Rogers not available to us our options were a bit limited.

"Cork started to dominate midfield and were holding onto the ball in the third quarter so it became a bit of an uphill battle.

"Experience tells me that you have to grasp a chance to win an All-Ireland when it comes along as they don't come along too often but at the same time we'll be trying to get back to this position again.

"I couldn't speak more highly of the players - they dug in even when it looked like Cork might pull away in the last 10 or 12 minutes of the match.

"We dragged ourselves back into the game and in the end we could have had a draw even though we probably didn't deserve it, maybe on our first half display, but certainly not on the balance of play in the second half," added the Down boss.

see also
Cork 0-16 0-15 Down
19 Sep 10 |  Gaelic Games
McCartan lauds Down backroom team
13 Sep 10 |  Gaelic Games
McVeigh's '91 and '94 total recall
13 Sep 10 |  Gaelic Games
Rogers still in final contention
09 Sep 10 |  Gaelic Games
Fans flock to meet Down heroes
07 Sep 10 |  Gaelic Games
Highlights from Cork v Down 1994
08 Sep 10 |  Gaelic Games
Down and Cork in colour changes
30 Aug 10 |  Gaelic Games
Hughes lauds Rogers leadership
30 Aug 10 |  Northern Ireland
Down 1-16 1-14 Kildare
29 Aug 10 |  Gaelic Games
Down face Lilywhites test in semi
01 Aug 10 |  Gaelic Games
McCartan caution after Mourne win
01 Aug 10 |  Gaelic Games
Down 1-16 1-10 Kerry
31 Jul 10 |  Gaelic Games
Down and Tyrone games on Saturday
26 Jul 10 |  Gaelic Games
Down 3-20 0-10 Sligo
24 Jul 10 |  Gaelic Games

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