DERRY JFC: Missed chances cost us, admits Drum manager

Final whistle in the Derry Junior Football Championship Final replay with Faughanvale beating Drum at Owenbeg on Saturday. (Picture Margaret McLaughlin)
Final whistle in the Derry Junior Football Championship Final replay with Faughanvale beating Drum at Owenbeg on Saturday. (Picture Margaret McLaughlin)

Disappointed joint Drum manager, Kieran O’Kane, admitted his side had paid the penalty for failing to take chances for the second week in succession.

A disastrous opening 11-minutes left St. Colm’s trailing by 10 points but they recovered to bring the deficit back to a manageable four points with still over a quarter of the game to go. The frustration though was that by that stage they had already registered six wides from excellent positions.

“We talked about getting off to slow starts,” conceded O’Kane, “We got off to a slow start and before we knew it we were 10-points down. But first of all, I want to wish Faughanvale all the very best in Ulster. They are a good side, they work hard and we tried to match them. We’ve had five epic battles them this year.

“I want to thank the referees and officials. We’re a team that when we’re beat we don’t take to social media to blame referees, officials, other teams. We accept our defeats. You have to know how to lose as well as how to win. Officials and referees do their best, and no matter what happens we take their decisions.

“Faughanvale won and Drum are down in the mouth. Somebody has to lose. As I said to the boys, there are bigger things in life. Life is going to throw bigger obstacles at them than football.”

Conor O’Kane’s 42nd minute goal which brought it back to 2-06 to 1-05 looked like being the launch pad for an unlikely comeback but unfortunately for Drum, it wasn’t to be.

“Aye, I thought we were back in it,” added O’Kane, “There was only four points in it and I thought, ‘we have them’. Look, we went 10 down and came back and hit four points but missed six wides. We missed six scoreable chances on the trot which would have brought it back to a draw but you have to finish them.

“We learned from last week if you don’t finish, you don’t win but, listen, the boys don’t miss them intentionally. I back our players 110%. We you win a game you’re a hero. When you lose it, the management will still back the players. The players are No. 1.”

The defeat caps a miserable end to the year after St. Colm’s who missed out on promotion in a tight play-off against Moneymore but O’Kane believes the players will recover although he does not know if himself and Jason Hazlett will remain in charge.

“It’s a very young group of players and they are learning. They’ll learn from that final. Faughanvale’s a big strong hard side and we will learn. I think the best way to learn is from defeat. It makes you hungrier. There are teams we’re looking forward to playing next year, we really are. If ever we needed motivation, we’ve got it.”