Institute aiming to finish season strongly

Institute manager Brian Donaghey wants to see his side to go ‘all guns blazing’ at Ards tomorrow night (KO 7.45pm).

By Kevin McLaughlin
Monday, 18th April 2022, 11:19 am
Updated Monday, 18th April 2022, 11:22 am
Institute's Jamie Dunne was in top form against Queen's University on Saturday. Picture by George Sweeney
Institute's Jamie Dunne was in top form against Queen's University on Saturday. Picture by George Sweeney

The Drumahoe club require only a point to secure their Lough 41 Championship status for next season but Donaghey wants his side to finish the season strongly.

’Stute have won their last four games in a row and Donaghey is looking for his players to carry that form into their remaining three games, starting with Ards tomorrow evening.

“Look, I have never gone into a game not wanting to win. I don’t think I have ever played for a draw in my life and that won’t be the case against Ards on Tuesday night,” insisted the ‘Stute boss.

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“I think when you do that you’ll probably get egg on your face and you’ll probably lose the game, so we’ll go into Tuesday night’s game with the right attitude.

“The boys chatted about the Ards game straight after the Queen’s match. It was Easter Weekend and the boys had to make some sacrifices this weekend but, to be fair, they are an honest bunch of lads. They mean well and they care about the club and that has shown over the last seven or eight weeks.

“Our performances have improved. I said around Christmas time that if we got a few players in, which we did, and if our results mirrored maybe a top six team in the league since Christmas then I would have been happy and I think that’s how things have started to pan out.”

Donaghey is expecting a tough test against Matthew Tipton’s side who secured a hard fought win at Ballyclare Comrades on Friday night.

Institute striker Ian Parkhill surveys his options during Saturday's game against Queen's University. Picture by George Sweeney

“I had a lad at their match on Friday and he told me that they played like a team who were fearless, probably because they have nothing to lose. They went out and played and expressed themselves,” he added.

“Sometimes when you take that bit of pressure off you play with a lot of freedom and that’s what Ards are doing at the minute. They have a big squad and, listen, we know it’s not going to be an easy task but because I would like us to take care of our own business in terms of getting the point to officially maintain our Championship status, I know our boys will be looking forward to travelling to Ards on Tuesday night.

“It’s a good pitch and because of that it will be a footballing game, as both teams want to play.”

Donaghey was delighted by his side’s come from behind victory over Queen’s University on Saturday and admitted their second half performance warranted the three points.

Mark McFadden heads home Institute’s first the goal against Queen's University. Picture by George Sweeney.

The Waterside men raced into an early lead thanks to Mark McFadden’s goal before being hit by two sucker punches as Queen’s netted twice prior to half-time through Leon Bonnes and Ronan Young.

However, a superb second half fightback won the game with Brendan McLaughlin and Jamie Dunne capping a fantastic performance with two stunning goals.

“It was definitely a game of two halves,” insisted Donaghey. “In the first half we were poor and gifted them two goals. I’ll take full responsibility for the second goal but, as I said, we were very poor and lethargic, but after half-time it was a completely different scenario.

“We put more pressure on them and were fantastic. Both our goals were superb. Caolan’s (McLaughlin) pick out for Benny was sublime and Benny’s finish was fantastic and credit to young Jamie (Dunne), he’s the last boy in every Thursday night after training because he’s practising that free-kick, so that hard work and dedication has been rewarded.

"Overall everyone put a shift in, particularly in the second half. I can’t praise the players enough. I’m delighted for them and the staff because over the last few months they have all put in a great shift and they have got their due reward.”