Managers view…..Gregory O’Kane – Dunloy
By Brendan McTaggart
Possibly the worst poker player you’ll ever come across. Dunloy manager Gregory O’Kane was visibly distraught after the full time whistle in Ballycastle on Sunday as the Cuchullians relinquished the title they won in 2017 to their near neighbours.
O’Kane began his assessment by saying: “We didn’t bring it today. We couldn’t get ball into our forwards. We couldn’t get width in our game. We did for about 10 minutes at the end of the first half and that was it.”
It was a fair analysis of the hours hurling from O’Kane. The Cuchullains trailed by four at one stage in the first half before clawing their way back to trail by one at the interval. They began to second half well but the Shamrocks always managed to keep them at bay. O’Kane felt that if his side could have managed to get their noses in front it would have made a difference.
It was obviously a disappointing day for the Dunloy manager but he was keen to highlight the role of another of the Cuchullains youth production line in recent time: “Young Aaron Crawford at corner back was outstanding. Still a minor but it doesn’t matter what age you are. If you’re good enough age doesn’t matter.” When asked if he felt it was a big call, O’Kane continued before praising the rest of his defence: “It was and it wasn’t. When you see him in training and the quality that he brings. Out there today I thought he was one of our best performers.
“I thought our backs done very well too. At the end of the day we only conceded 14 points and only six or seven of that from play.”
The Dunloy manager bemoaned the quality of ball into the Dunloy forwards on the day before adding: “We just couldn’t get flowing or any structure into our game.
“Eight points tells the story. You’re not going to win too many games by only scoring eight points and it’s something we’re going to have to look at in more detail.”
After winning the league and favourites to retain their crown, it’s a bitter pill to swallow for the Cuchullains but O’Kane told us that his young side will learn from Sunday’s defeat: “They say a mistakes only a mistake if you don’t learn from it. There’s plenty of young men in that dressing room who are hurting inside and out after that. They’ll learn from this today.”