Moneyglass – Hugh Carey
“They really knuckled down and they deserve to be where they are right now.”
By Brendan McTaggart
When the winning captain singles you out for praise in his acceptance speech, you know you’ve done something right. Step forward Hugh Carey. A livewire on the side line and Mr Moneyglass. In his own words, he was ‘relieved’ at the final whistle after tasting defeat in last years decider but he told us this match was a culmination of years of work: “Them boys deserve it. They’ve worked hard and have been there or thereabouts. This was their fifth final since winning it in ’04.
“It means a lot, it means a lot to the club. We’re predominantly football and we focus on it.
“We knew last year something was missing. We knew we needed that wee bit more experience.
“We had a decision to make, stay or don’t stay. We were a kick of the ball away in two games from having a very good season. I said I was done. I approached Peter (Doherty), he was the experienced manager we needed to get over the line and he made me stay.
““He’s Kindo’s (Kevin Marron) father-in-law. He was at all the games last year and he knows his stuff. He watched us in the final last year and he’s brought that something that we needed. That wee bit of knowhow and man management.
“I was threw in at the deep end last year, it’s as simple as that. Peter coming in just made sense. Him and Sean McGoldrick were in for the Derry job last year, just beat by Rory Gallagher. That’s the calibre of manager he is and level of a man we have.
“I’ve learned a lot from him. He stands on the line, arms folded and takes all in and as you see, I’m up and down the line and can’t contain myself.
“The best thing this year for us was the introduction of the water breaks because Peter has the match analysed and relays all to the lads.”
Dunloy settled into the final quickly and put Moneyglass on the back foot. Carey told us that it was the complete opposite from what they had discussed. They wanted to put the Cuchullains under pressure early doors after their week of celebrations: “That wasn’t the plan. We wanted to get off to a good start and see how big a week they had. We wanted to get on top of them and get our own game going. Suck teams in and counter. We tried to go a bit different today with the two bigger men up top.
“Dunloy put the pressure on us on a big pitch, fair play to them.”
The Moneyglass coach told us they wanted to play more direct ball into their forward line for the final and while that tactic worked a treat in the second half, it wasn’t happening in the opening 30 minutes: “Dunloy stopped us from doing that. Everybody knows us to be a running team and we wanted to change that today.” As Carey continued, he attributed their win against St Pauls in the semi-final for how they fought back in the final: “That win (vs St Pauls) was massive. St Paul’s were a big, physical side and I said to the lads all week, don’t get too down about it. That’s a Division One club with Division One football. The difference is Division One teams mix it up and we tried to do that today. It worked better in the second half.”
The match was barely 12 minutes old when Moneyglass lost the services of key man, Dermot McErlain. A massive moment in the game yet ‘Bugsy’ going off meant Ryan ‘Fish’ Doyle came into the fray and his impact was massive. Carey added: “Losing Bugsy was huge. When we need things to happen he’s our go-to man.
“The final last year, when we needed someone to step up it didn’t happen. They done it last week against St Pauls and they done it today again. Smiley played the last 15 minutes on one leg. He hyper-extended his knee. He probably should have been off but he stayed on. He played on injured and Bugsy was off.
“Fish came on and had an absolute stormer.
I rang him at the end of lockdown and told him he was the most frustrating player in our club. He has bags of ability, you just don’t use it. I told him to put the work in and give us four months and see what happens. It paid off for him today.
“It’s not about individuals. The boys started to knit together. We need this. We need this as a club. We need to be back playing Division One football, it’s been far too long. There’s no guarantees of that either but at least next year the focus can be on the league to make that happen.”
Saturday spelled the end of a 16 year wait for the St Ergnat’s. 2004 was their last win in the Intermediate championship and Carey told us it was more than just the past 12 months to get this far: “We’ve been working hard as a club and taking it a step further. We got the gym in at the start of the year and we couldn’t use it. Everything wasn’t going right but fair play to the lads. They really knuckled down and they deserve to be where they are right now.
“We’ll enjoy the celebrations that’s for sure.”
Dunloy – Anthony McQuillan
“They want to play senior at some stage but to do that you need to win this competition”
By Brendan McTaggart
A bridge too far. Dunloy manager Anthony McQuillan looked devastated as he watched Colum Duffin lift the Intermediate championship for Moneyglass on the Dunsilly pitch. As we caught up with him, he was still trying to decipher how it got away from his Cuchullains.
After a first half that saw them lead by four points thanks to a thunderous goal from Seaan Elliott, Dunloy in McQuillan’s words were in ‘pole position’: “We talked about keeping the game tight at half time and a long ball in caught us out and they got a goal with a point just before that brought them back into the game.”
Ryan ‘Fish’ Doyle’s goal came shortly after the restart as Moneyglass made a dream start to the second half. Any team talk made by McQuillan and his backroom team went out the window and Dunloy never recovered: “We were shellshocked” continued McQuillan, “and to be honest I don’t think we got over those first couple of minutes in the second half.
“It was a sucker punch.
“It was a lucky goal. A hopeful ball in that fell into their boys’ hand and you can’t blame anybody for it.
“Four points up, 1-5 to 0-4. That’s the position we wanted to be in. We wanted to win the first 15 minutes and see where we were. That sucker punch in the first couple of minutes of the second half done us.
“We wanted to win. We came here today feeling like we could and would win and we’re going home gutted.”
In the second half, Moneyglass were a different animal. Defensively they gave Dunloy very little and forced turnover after turnover. Their second goal a prime example. The Cuchullains looked to carve out an attack but the St Ergnat’s men swarmed Keelan Molloy superbly. Turned the ball over and 15 seconds later the ball was in the back of the Dunloy net. McQuillan paid tribute to Moneyglass when he continued: “Moneyglass tackled like demons as well to give them their dues. They held us out and kept us at arm’s length.”
The Cuchullains needed a response but they had nothing left to give. A gruelling dual schedule looked to have finally caught up with them. McQuillan added: “They were out on their feet. We were having to make changes and bring boys on as they were absolutely shattered. We wanted fresh legs on but I don’t know what more to say. It’s serious disappointment.”
A fourth defeat at this stage in six years is tough to take. McQuillan has been here before and knows what it takes to lift the Cuchullains once again. He optimistically looked to the future when he concluded: “If you take Rev (Kevin McAllister) and Scooby (Kevin McQuillan) out of our squad, the majority of that squad are under 23.
“They’re still learning their trade and Intermediate football is a good start for them but they want to play senior at some stage but to do that you need to win this competition.
“That’s something we want to do in the next couple of years and the only way to do it is win the Intermediate.
“We’ll regroup and go again next year.”