FINAL DAY AT CROKE PARK ON CASTLEBLAYNEY’S RADAR ONCE AGAIN

31 October 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Castleblayney’s hurlers are back on the hunt for All-Ireland Junior Hurling Championship honours following a gritty win over Na Magha in the Ulster Final. by PATRICK SMYTH

Winning an Ulster title is something not only to savour but also one which presents opportunities for further glory. Reflecting on his team’s provincial title victory last weekend, Castleblayney Faughs’ boss Paul Hughes fingered his side’s fitness as central to their successful odyssey to the winner’s enclosure:

“It’s a great feeling to have taken the Ulster club title again,” a delighted Hughes enthused after seeing his side put Na Magha to the sword. “That was a difficult game in the first half and the conditions didn’t help with the result that we were under pressure but we said if we would be better in the second half and play the hurling that we know we are capable of, and that’s what we did.

“I think in the end it came down to fitness levels because we have trained very hard all year and our fitness did tell in the second-half.” Of course, it does help a team if their opponents are stripped off their full complement of players and Hughes admitted that having a superior number of personnel after the restart was a really vital leg-up for his side: “Then they lost a player in the very first minute of the second-half so they had to play the rest of the second half with 14 men and the extra man did help us and we started to grow in confidence.

“We had to change things around a little and in fact we substituted our whole full-back line but we were struggling a bit in there and we were in a bit of trouble because we knew that the scores we conceded came off our full-back line. “I know the wind was a factor and we were playing against the wind in the first half and there were a couple of other things as well that forced those changes on us. The players that we introduced in the second-half were all fit players and that stood to us.” In the white heat of battle, they say that goals a …

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