Glen will have to improve for Kilcoo admits Malachy O'Rourke after Cargin victory

Glen manager Malachy O'Rourke admits his team will have to improve on Sunday's semi-final display when they face Kilcoo in the Ulster Senior Club final.

Glen will have to improve if they are to upset Kilcoo in the Ulster final says manager Malachy O'Rourke.
Glen will have to improve if they are to upset Kilcoo in the Ulster final says manager Malachy O'Rourke.

It's the final everyone expected but it took an injury time Danny Tallon penalty before the Watty Graham's finally put away a stubborn Cargin team in Healy Park with O'Rourke conceding they'll need to improve before facing the Down champions in two weeks time.

"If you want to win championship matches that's a big part of it, showing that character," explained the Glen manager after the 1-10 to 0-08 victory.

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"Some days you can play great football, there's other days you just have to dig in when you're not at your best and make sure that you're still right in the fight and have a chance to get over the line at the end, and that’s what we did.

"It is Kilcoo, yeah. We played them last year in the semi-final and they beat us fair and square, absolutely no problem with that. They’ve been in the last two All-Ireland finals, have won one, now in three Ulster finals so they are the team to beat. It's a massive challenge for us, we know we're gonna have to play a lot better than we did today if we're gonna pull up a fight against them but, look, it's great to be there."

While in front from the ninth minute, Glen never looked comfortable against a the Antrim champions who had been written off prior to throw-in. Cargin won the toss and decider to play against the wind in the opening half, holding Glen to a 0-5 to 0-4 lead which O'Rourke said was a concern at the break.

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"We were in the battle there and delighted the boys showed brilliant character to come through it. You’re always concerned when there's a strong wind like that and it doesn't take much to get a score - we saw that with the mark they got and big Shivers in there is a danger.

"With frees and that wind it can easily cut down that gap and there was only a point in it at halftime. But I knew we hadn't played our best the first half, and I knew against the wind we could play every bit as well and we could control the ball a bit better. It wasn't a great position to be in at half-time but delighted to get through it."

Glen passed up two a gilt edged goal chance in each half as Ryan Dougan saw his first half effort saved by Cargin keeper John McNabb before Alex Doherty sent another great chance wide at the near post, with O'Rourke admitting they can't afford to be as wasteful against the reigning All Ireland champions, Kilcoo.

"Particularly the one we worked well at the start of second half, it would have been a massive score at the time but we didn't take it," added O'Rourke, "Against Kilcoo you have to take every chance you get. They're going really well, they’re improving with every outing, so we know what's in front of us but look it, it's great to be there."