Institute boss Brian Donaghey delighted with finale victory over Knockbreda

Institute manager Brian Donaghey was thrilled that his side, despite leaving it late, finished their season with a victory over Knockbreda, on Saturday.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Sunday, 1st May 2022, 11:02 am
Updated Sunday, 1st May 2022, 8:43 pm

In wet and windy conditions, the Drumahoe played some of their best football of the season in the first half at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, but only had Gareth Brown's headed goal to show for all their dominance.

As the wind picked up massively in the second half, Stute struggled to get out of their own half and Stephen Garrett's 90th minute goal direct from a corner looked as though the Belfast men would earn a point, but with virtually the last kick of the game, Cormac Burke's floated free-kick was nodded home by Caolan Maguire McLaughlin.

For Donaghey he felt over the balance of play, his side just about a shaded it and he was delighted that the players managed to secure their sixth win from their last seven games.

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Institute striker Caolan Maguire McLaughlin celebrates his winning goal against Knockbreada with team-mates Brendan McLaughlin (11) and Patrick McLaughlin (17). Picture by George Sweeney.

"I thought the first half we were excellent," he insisted. "We were probably as good and as free flowing has we have been.

"I told the boys to express themselves, enjoy it and get on the ball and we did that very well in the first half in difficult conditions. To be honest the wind actually picked up a wee bit in the second half and it was difficult for us to get out.

"Our decision making was poor enough at times in the second half but Knockbreda put us under a lot of sustained pressure but I think from a footballing sense of view, I think we deserved it. There manager (Colin McIlwrath) said 'that's probably the best half of football anybody has played against us this season' and we got our goal that we deserved, we maybe should have had another one through Caolan, but listen when it's only 1-0 then the other team is always in the game, but I felt over the 90 minutes we shaded it.

"Listen I'm delighted, especially whenever it went to 1-1, I think they thought the game was over and they probably switched off, but thankfully we didn't and Caolan scores a good header right at the death. He got good contact, but it was a fantastic ball in from Cormac Burke and that's what we have been finishing with Burkey not playing much this season.

"I have said it before, he probably adds 10 or 15 points to us this season, just with his pure quality and I thought in the first half Burkey was outstanding.

"But yeah to bounce back from the Queen's defeat and to win six out of our last seven games is full credit to the boys and the staff. Fair play to the players because they have come good at the right time because they have put everything they could into it and it something to build on for next season."

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Institute finish season with home success over Knockbreda