Institute's defensive pair to miss Dundela encounter

Manager Brian Donaghey says he’s delighted Institute have secured their Championships status with games to spare as they play their penultimate match of the season at Dundela on Saturday (KO 3pm).

By Kevin McLaughlin
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:04 am
Jamie Dunne has been in top form for Institute in recent weeks.
Jamie Dunne has been in top form for Institute in recent weeks.

The Drumahoe club, who have won their last five games on the bounce, travel to Wilgar Park with a host of injury concerns particularly in defence. Centre-back pairing Shaun Leppard and Rhys McDermott are both unavailable but, on the plus side, defender Conor Quigley should return.

Striker Ian Parkhill may miss the remainder of the season after picking up a hamstring injury at Ards on Tuesday night, but front man Gareth Brown is likely to back in the squad.

The Waterside men secured a hard fought 1-0 win at Ards in midweek with Jamie Dunne scoring another crucial goal and Donaghey feels the winger, along with Mark McFadden and Brendan McLaughlin, really have stepped up in recent weeks by scoring important goals.

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The ’Stute boss was also full of praise for his entire squad and coaching staff who he feels have all played a major role in their recent winning run.

“I think it was 12 or 13 games since our last clean-sheet and that’s funny because some of our better performers all year have been our two centre-halves. Shaun Leppard and Rhys McDermott have been outstanding for us,” explained Donaghey.

“To be honest, I had a very frank chat with Jamie Dunne about five weeks ago and he more of less say that ‘he owed me’ so fair to him, his form over the last four or five games has been excellent. He has now chipped in with goals and assists.

"Benny is back to his start of the season form and he’s flourishing in midfield and really, really loving it. His work-rate is phenomenal while Mark McFadden, after a bit of a shaky few weeks, has done really, really well. He makes very clever runs and he has scored goals.

“But listen, I think the whole squad has stepped up although those three in particular you have to say have chipped in with massive, massive goals and goals change games and win you matches.”

Donaghey says that in the final two games he - like a lot of managers with nothing to really play for - will be giving a few of young players some game time.

“I think ourselves, Dundela and Ards are trying to introduce a few young players in the last couple of games and see what we are like for a squad for next year,” admitted Donaghey.

“There will be quite a bit of recruitment done in the summer, but it’s good to get a look a few young players in a competitive fixture.

“Shaun Leppard is struggling with his hamstring and Gareth Brown was unavailable on Tuesday night, but the young lads who came in were excellent, players like Cian Thompson, Niall McGlynn, Patrick McLaughlin and Tiernan Brown. We finished the game with five teenagers on the pitch, so that’s good for the future.

“All the boys are bouncing in training. Their application has been good and, to be honest, that hasn’t really changed much even when we weren’t getting results, but winning just brings a different feel to the place.

“The boys deserve the wee run that they are on at the moment and I have no doubt that we want to carry it on until the end of the season. Whenever you are in a winning habit it’s nice to keep it going.”

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