CHRISTY RING CUP: More to come from Derry, claims McLean

Derry's Ruairi Convery battles to keep this attack moving under pressure from London defender Kieran Fitzpatrick. DER2015-115KM
Derry's Ruairi Convery battles to keep this attack moving under pressure from London defender Kieran Fitzpatrick. DER2015-115KM

Delighted Derry senior hurling manager Tom McLean believes there is more to come from his Oak Leaf team after watching them secure a first Christy Ring Cup semi-final spot.

“One point is as good as 10,” explained McLean after Paddy Henry’s late point secured the 1-12 to 2-08 victory.

“This is new territory for Derry, the first time they have reached the semi final of the Christy Ring Cup. We are just delighted to get over the line.

“I know there is so much more in this team. For some reason we seem to be playing within ourselves. We seem to be playing with the ‘hand brake’ on. Notwithstanding that, we are into a semi-final, so we will take it one game at a time.”

The Derry manager admitted the result had been closer than he would have like and said London’s ability to get goals made things difficult.

“They got the goals at just the right time. We had clawed our way back into the game after going four points down to take the lead going into half time but then they got their first goal. That’s the way it goes sometimes as all teams are out to score goals, just as we were, so you just have to get over those setbacks and push on again.”

“I don’t like naming individuals but that was a good team performance overall from the 18 players that were used. They all worked hard. So while some players may play that bit better than others on a given day, I would just rather put the victory down to a good performance.”

Paddy Henry’s excellent goal capped a brilliant performance from the Lavey man but McLean says that was exactly the type of display he expects from a player of Henry’s ability

“It was a really good goal from a super ball in from Alan Grant and Paddy finished it well but he’s a good hurler and you would expect that off him.

“Maybe we will open up a bit better now that we are in the semi-final and the pressure is off. We’ll try and get them to take the shackles off. It looks as if we’re going out trying not to get beat rather that going out and trying to win. We need to open up and go at it to win the game.

“But it’s a step into a semi-final, new territory for us, and we’ll look forward to the game in two weeks time.”