8 April 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Patrick Smyth

After Monaghan’s storming victory over Tir Chonaill in ‘blayney came the calm. In the confines of the Monaghan dressing-room, Malachy O’Rourke held court away from a madding crowd who beamed like lottery winners once the final whistle had sounded and the newshad spread that their ambassadors would still be operating in the NFL’s fast lane in 2017.

In due course, O’Rourke addressed the local and national hacks and gave his take on what had just taken place in ‘blayney last Sunday: “They (Donegal) came to win the match, that was obvious from the start and they were seriously up for this game. “We did make it hard for ourselves because we started off poorly and we were seven points down before we scored, but by half-time we felt we were very much in the game and had got ourselves back into contention and as the game went on we knew our desire would increase.

“That’s the way it worked out because as the game progressed we got a stronger foothold. We started winning our own kick outs and we started putting more pressure on them all over the field and we were getting on top in more and more individual battles.” The almost breathless Monaghan boss explained that gaining the win – regardless of what happened elsewhere around the country – was the only thing on the players’ minds: “Coming in today we just simply did not want to lose this match and while we needed something else as well as winning we were fully determined to win to help preserve our status in division 1 and thankfully that’s how it worked out”. As for the catalyst for the outstanding second half display, the Fermanagh native pointed towards his men at the back: “When you’re playing in division 1 and playing against the top teams there are going to be periods in games when the opposition is well on top.

“At times like that you have to show courage and commitment and hang in there and keep working away knowin and believing that you can turn the tide by making the most of the ball that you win. “That was very much the case with us and the way it went today, the defence was really good and only conceded two points in the entire second half, but overall it was a team performance and we are just delighted to get through.” “That’s the way it is in division 1, all the games are very tough, it came down to the last game this year and with a victory like this behind you it is great boost for our preparations for the championship. “The Castleblayney club in fairness pulled out all the stops and we were here on Thursday night last for a bit of a run out and the crowd today really reacted to the team…”


Comments are closed.