Having seen his side become the first team to claim their place in the GWP Intermediate Championship final, Dromahair manager Gerry Ballantine was understandably pleased with his side’s display but felt there is still room for improvement.
“We dominated large patches of it but we probably didn’t drive it home when we were on top. I felt we kept them in the game with our shooting towards the end but the effort was there and the intensity was there but the finishing wasn’t there today.
“The goals came at great times, that cushion allowed us perhaps to be more comfortable in the game. Maybe if we had been less comfortable we would have been less careless in our shooting. Overall it was probably our best performance of the season, given the nature of the game.”
Looking ahead to the final, Gerry said “It will be another step up for us. The final will be 50/50 and we’re delighted to be there.”
While the Dromahair players celebrated, it was a very different story in the Aughnasheelin dressing room. It is often said that a semi-final is the worst place to lose and manager Padraig McGloin agreed - “It is, that’s what I said to the boys before the game - losing here is the worst possible spot, in the semi-final.
“They got off to a good start and they always had three or four points on us and then they got the second goal and that kind of killed it off. We needed to get our goal after half-time and we didn’t. They got the first score but there are no complaints, on the day the better team won. They were fitter and hungrier.
“We went 28 minutes without scoring in the second half and you’re not going to win anything at that. You need to be scoring every couple of minutes, we weren’t consistent enough. We needed that goal after half time and they got the point after half time. We needed to get some kind of a score after half time and we didn’t and as you say, 28 minutes, you’re not going to win anything.”
There was to be no separating the teams in the other semi-final and after the game Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher manager John Joe Stewart was full of praise for his players although he feels there is still room for improvement.
“We can take a lot of positives, I thought it was our best performance. I’m an outside man coming in to the club and that was the best performance of the year. They stood up to the battle but we had chances when were two or three points up and we should have pushed on more. We didn’t use the ball I’m trying to make them use it and it’s very, very criminal to give ball away.”
Goals from Enda Gallagher and James Murray looked to have put Glenfarne/Kiltyclogher on course for victory and John Joe noted, “They were two good goals, they were well worked. I suppose late on we had a fisted effort with the goalkeeper beaten, if it had gone it was game over. We were inches away from being in the final. We’ll look forward to another day.”
One area of concern for John Joe was the injuries sustained by Dermot O’Rourke, Diarmuid Clancy & Conor O’Rourke as John Joe revealed, “It’ll be very doubtful for one or two of them but we have a panel of players and we’re going to have to work with them and use them to the best of our ability and that’s all we can do.”
Gortletteragh manager Tom Ward felt his side deserved another day out - “It was surely the least we deserved. Early on in the game there was a bit of anxiety but as the game went on they settled into it. We made quite a few switches and they all helped but one thing we told them when they were going out was that if they did go behind, not to panic. I don’t think we were behind in many of our games this year, we were probably in front in most of them.”
Tom also felt the injury sustained by Glenfarne midfielder Dermot O’Rourke helped his side considerably noting, “When he got injured that was probably one of the main reasons why we came back into the game, it gave us that bit of a foothold in midfield.”
Looking to the replay, Tom said “We can’t afford to be conceding and having to fight back all the time, that would be our main focus. We need to hit them from the front.”