MONAGHAN SUFFER DEFEAT TO DERRY IN CHAMPIONSHIP

30 March 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

DERRY 3-12
MONAGHAN 1-03

by JOHN GRAHAM
MONAGHAN crashed out of the Cadbury’s Under-21 Football Championship at Celtic Park last Wednesday and Oriel Boss Eamonn McEneaney was,understandably, very disappointed.
“When you lose by that amount it’s disappointing and very disheartening for all concerned because we had put in a lot of work and especially when you win midfield 21 to 11- those were the statistics there- but against that we gave the ball away 33 times, so that was poor.
“Our preparations I have to say were very good and things looked good. We played Donegal in a challenge match and beat them and they were after beating Derry so we felt we were there or thereabouts. We had a good Shamrock Cup final against Tyrone, we had beaten Meath and Antrim so the signs were pretty good but we just couldn’t get settled.
“We gave away a terrible goal and that put us seven points to one down. After that just when we were starting to come back into it and play a bit of football they got a second goal and I think that killed the boys off. But in fairness some of them tried very hard. Just before half-time we had two good goal chances but didn’t convert either of them so there was never a lift for the team and I think that was the problem.
“I have to say though that this is a relatively young side, only two or three would be over age for next year and while it’s not an experience you want any of them to have I would expect it will stand to them in the long run and I hope it will strengthen their resolve because that type of performance from a Monaghan team in an Ulster championship is not good enough. They know that, I know that and we would not be proud of it.”

Derry set the tone of the game right from the start and manager Barry Dillon said: “The body language of the players, the way they played from the start, showed that they were up for the game. That’s important for a manager along the side line to see that. The start we got was just perfect and we just kept building on it. We did not take the foot off the pedal and it was impressive to see that.
“We harried them and plus we had Kevin Farren there in goals and that’s his job to stop these things going in. He made a very good save in the first half. The tackling, the covering and support play in defence was amazing. They put in so much good work. It’s a credit to them. They were well prepared and they showed that tonight and that was the important thing.”
The Derry play Cavan in the semi-final and Dillon said: “ Cavan have a lot of experience from last year. They’ve got the bit between their teeth from underage football. We cannot expect to have the same kind of night as we’ve had in this game. We’ll see a different type of Derry display against Cavan, maybe a different performance where they will have to dig in a little bit more. I’m looking forward to see how they respond to a different game. I am looking forward to …

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