FURIOUS Derry Senior Hurling manager Ger Rogan has backed his side to bounce back from Saturday’s controversial four point Christy Ring Cup defeat to Wicklow in Arklow.
The Antrim native’s anger was directed at Carlow referee Patrick Murphy who Rogan claimed never gave his side a “fair shake” after the Oak Leafers let slip a two point interval lead.
“We expect the man in charge to give us a fair shake but we felt we did not get that,” explained the Derry manager.
“We did not expect anything other than a tough game from Wicklow and we have no problem with Wicklow defeating us but give us a level playing field. Some of the decisions were poor.
”He gave wrong decisions, wrong frees and we never got a 50/50 call throughout the game. It was crazy. I am absolutely furious as we put in a serious amount of work here. We are not out of this competition and will be back, people better take note.”
The visitors enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges but still found themselves three points down courtesy of a brace of scores from Wicklow’s Tommy Doyle and one from Enan Glynn.
Derry regrouped though and eventually set about translating their superior possession to the scoreboard with Na Magha’s Breandan Quigley finding the net in the 9th minute with a ground strike from 25 yards which may have taken a slight deflection off home wing-back John Henderson.
The teams traded scores with Wicklow’s dual star Chester Kelly landing a superb effort to tie the game up again after 12 minutes but within three minutes Derry were back in control thanks to a second goal from Paddy McCloskey. The Oak leaf men rattled over the next three points to lead by six but should really have been further ahead than the 2-06 to 0-10 half-time lead suggested.
A number of substitutions seemed to give Wicklow new impetus after the break and they were level at 2-09 to 0-15 after 53 minutes with Derry again thankful to another assured display of free-taking from Lavey’s Paddy Henry who accounted for nine of his side’s tally.
The sides continued to go tit-for-tat until Derry’s penalty jinx struck again with eight minutes remaining, Joe Murphy saving brilliantly from Paddy Kelly for a ’65. Derry scored that to lead again but O’Neill levelled when Derry were penalised for over carrying to the obvious annoyance of their manager.
With just five minutes to go Wicklow’s Andy O’Brien was deemed to have been fouled and O’Neill pushed Wicklow back into the lead from the free. Derry had the chance to level again but the ball fell short and was cleared by Wicklow to Andy O’Brien who fired against the post. Unfortunately for Derry the rebound fell to John Connors, not long on as a substitute, and he lashed the ball home first time to give Wicklow the win.
Wicklow: Joe Murphy; Jim Connors, Graham Keogh, Billy Cuddihy; John Henderson, Stephen Kelly 0-1, Geoffrey Bermingham 0-1; Eamonn Kearns 0-1, Ronan Keddy; Tommy Doyle 0-1, Liam Kennedy, Eugene Dunne, Enan Glynn 0-1, Jonathan O’Neill 0-8 (6f, 1 ’65′), Andy O’Brien 0-3. Subs: Wayne O’Gorman for Kennedy, Christy Moorehouse 0-2 for Dunne, John Connors 1-0 for Doyle.
Derry: Oisin Doherty; John McCloskey, Sean McNicholl, Leigh Hawkins: Ruairi McCloskey, Paddy Kelly, Michael Warnock; Oisin McCloskey, Brendan Quigley; Sean McGuigan, Liam Craig, Patrick McCloskey 1-0; Paddy Henry 0-9 (7f, 1 ’65′), Ruairi Convery, Alan Grant (Na Magha) 0-2. Subs: Chris Convery for McNicholl, Shane Farren for Craig, Sean McCullagh for Hawkins, Liam Hinphey (Kevin Lynch’s) for Grant.
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow)