Derry boss Ciaran Meenagh refuses to blame Ulster Final hangover for Monaghan draw

Derry manager Ciaran Meenagh.Derry manager Ciaran Meenagh.
Derry manager Ciaran Meenagh.
​Derry manager Ciaran Meenagh refused to blame Saturday's All Ireland Series draw on an Ulster Final 'hangover' but admitted the Oak Leafers had been missing their usual intensity at times.

Derry twice fought back from three points down in the second half against Monaghan and looked to have pinched the win when Shane McGuigan capped a brilliant display by scoring a sublime 74th minute free from under the main stand. There was still time for further drama though as Karl O'Connell got forward to kick the equaliser seconds later and Meenagh admitted Monaghan deserved the draw.

"I would’ve taken it with 10 minutes to go but disappointed we didn’t see it out," conceded the Oak Leaf boss, "The pressure of these games and the nature of the last two games is tough. The character of the players can’t be in doubt because everything looked like it was going against us for a lot of the second half in terms of how they managed the black card."It wasn’t looking good, but to go into a one-point lead and time near enough up. If we had got our hands on the ball one more time and stopped them getting back out of the corner. We’d be relieved to get a point in that regard, but we’d be disappointed with elements of our performance, as you’d always be."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

With Armagh struggling for periods of their one point victory over Westmeath, questions were raised about the 13-days turnaround since the Ulster Final but Meenagh felt that thinking did a disservice to Monaghan.

"That would be very unjust on Monaghan," he added, "The way the game went in Omagh that day, maybe we got the bounce of the ball and maybe things went our way and we built a lead.

"They obviously learned a lot of lessons. They had four weeks to sit in the long grass and prepare accordingly and they did so. It’s hard to know if you look at the Armagh game today, you may say that. You may look at our edge and our intensity for long parts of that game wasn’t there. Maybe you could argue that, but who knows and that will only be clear moving forward."