Dunloy have no answer to Slaughtneil’s direct play

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Dunloy have no answer to Slaughtneil’s direct play thumbnailDunloy’s Kevin McKeague in the thick of the action in the AIB Ulster Senior Club Hurling Semi Final against Slaughtneil.

Slaughtneil............1-18 Dunloy............2-8

DERRY and Ulster champions Slaughtneil proved too strong for a generally young Dunloy team in front of an attendance of 6,128 at Owenbeg on Sunday afternoon. Slaughtneil were slow to start as the Antrim champions raced into an early 1-4 to 0-1 lead but they gradually worked their way back into the game and in the half hour period on either side of half time, they outscored Dunloy by 1-12 to 0-2.
Slaughtneil manager Michael McShane was not worried by the fast Dunloy start, saying: "No, honestly I wasn't. I knew that the pace of the game was going to be a lot faster than what we have played against all year. It was always going to take us 15 or 20 minutes to get into the game.
"I know they had a five point, even a six point lead at a time but I knew we would come. What we did need was to get two or three points over the bar, start crawling back at them, get a few tackles in, turn them over a few times and everything would be fine.
"I would have been happy going in at two or three points down, honestly, but it was great that we were going in four or five points up and we were able to drive on from there."
Was the slow start psychological as much a physical? "No, it wasn't psychological, it was just the pace of the game. Dunloy have been playing against the likes of St. John's Cushendall and Ballycastle. The games they have been playing, and I don't mean any disrespect to the other teams in Derry, but those games would have been of a higher pace.
"Plus you always have to remember that Dunloy will have a whole lot more hurling done than Slaughtneil given Slaughtneil's dual commitments.
"These guys, I don't know how they do it. They are out every weekend. We did have a rest last weekend as we had no game but we were training but once they got to the pace of it, we were never going to blitz them the way we did against Loughgiel. Everybody is on their toes against us in the first 15 minutes or so because of the way we blitzed Loughgiel last year but, no, it wasn't psychological.
"It was just getting up to the pace, getting the ball moving. After that, I was comfortable we were going to kick on."
Physical advantage
Once Slaughtneil got up to the pace of the game, they took control in the key areas despite losing big full back Sean Cassidy with injury after ten minutes.



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