McGrath sees postives in three-point defeat

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STEELSTOWN manager Hugh McGrath admitted nerves may have played a part in his side’s poor start to their Senior league debut against Kilrea on Sunday.

Liam Morrow’s men started at a blistering pace, scoring three points inside two minutes and five before Steelstown finally regrouped to give a decent display for the remainder of the game.

Steelstown's Michael McKinney and Kilrea's Lee Kennedy clash as they reach for this high Ball at Steelstown. (1604SL66)

Steelstown's Michael McKinney and Kilrea's Lee Kennedy clash as they reach for this high Ball at Steelstown. (1604SL66)

“We talked all week about the importance of making a quick start,” explained McGrath, “We tried to focus on the fact that these guys are only human beings and there was no need to be overawed but I think we were slightly at the beginning.

“It took us until Kilrea had five points already on the scoreboard before we started playing football but after that we showed we can mix it up both physically and technically, in terms of our skill level.

“We were a bit tentative in front of goal in the second half, guys over-playing when just a simple stroke over the bar would have done, but those are all things which happen at the start of any year regardless of what league your in so we know what we have to work on. There is a long road ahead and hopefully we can put these things right.”

Despite the three point defeat McGrath said his team’s fighting display had given him good reason to be optimistic for the season ahead

“The performance has given me a bit more belief in these players. There wasn’t that much in the game. Maybe the rub of the green’ is the diplomatic way of putting it but I think certain things didn’t go for us but you get that throughout the course of a season. On another day we might get a bit more luck and come out on the right side of the result.”

The Steelstown manger said it was important not to dwell on the defeat and was already looking forward to next weekend’s encounter away to Craigbane.

“It is not the first time we have lost a game. I think our reaction will show what sort of side we are and how we are able to come back from a result like that. Next week is going to be a really good test and show us where we are at.”