Con Magees manager Joe Cassidy speaks with Brendan McTaggart at the final whistle in Dunsilly
Watching the opposition celebrate at the end of a final is never easy. One look at Joe Cassidy and you knew he didn’t want to be there. Both he and Paul Downey stood side by side wondering just how it got away from them at Dunsilly against a Dunloy side who never dominant. “Very disappointing,” started Cassidy: “more so for the lads. They didn’t turn up or do themselves justice. That’s not taking anything away from Dunloy, they were the far superior team. If it hadn’t of been for Jamie (McEvoy) in goals, they could have had at least three goals. Jamie kept us in it.”
Dunloy’s domination of the middle third of the pitch and ability to win turn over ball in the Glenravel half allowed them to apply unrelenting pressure. The Con Magees manager was left scratching at their lack of competitiveness in midfield: “Where we’ve done the business in the last three games in terms of pressing opposition kick outs, I mean we dominated Ballymena on their kick outs and the same with Sarsfields. Today, we didn’t do that and that allowed Dunloy to get the advantage on us. When you’re playing chasing shadows with the athlete’s that Dunloy have you’re always going to be in bother.”
Trailing by six at half time, the Con Magees took a little longer than the allotted time. Cassidy said it was a time for cool minds as they looked to get a way back into the final: “We were trying to get our team sorted out. We were making a few changes, we knew where the problems were. There was no point in roaring or shouting, that wasn’t going to do anyone any good or turn the game around. It was about trying to sort out where the problems where.
“It was always going to be an uphill battle, you were going to need a goal at some point to get a bit of momentum. We could never get that. We got a couple of points but we needed a goal and at that you’re grasping at straws. The damage was done in the first half. Dunloy had six kick outs and got out with five of them. The last day against Sarsfields we completely blitzed their kick out and that’s the most disappointing thing from today.”
Despite defeat, reaching the Intermediate final should be seen as progress for the Glenravel side. Cassidy continued: “They are a very young side. Probably, this time last year would they have taken progress to an Intermediate Final, possibly. But when you get to a final you want to win it and I genuinely believe we wouldn’t be far away but I have to hold my hands up, the best team won.”
Despite the silver lining from defeat, Cassidy wasn’t pulling any punches when he said: “That’s for Glenravel people to decide that (progress). Every manager is going to say the same sort of garbage at the end of the season. They’ve got to their first Intermediate final in whatever number of years it is so from that point of view its progress. They won an U20 championship last year, they are building. They have a good group of minors coming below that again. Sometimes you have to lose one to win one, at it’s really how they kick on from here but it’s very hard to say there’s been progress when you get to a final and you’re well beat.”