A first championship win as Waterford boss eluded him on a scorching Saturday but Tom McGlinchey couldn’t question the character of his players. They gave another honourable display in defeat, particularly in the first half.
“That’s the one thing I always say about these lads, they die with their boots on. The same thing happened today and I just said to the players inside that we had the last play and it was Thomas O’Gorman up there trying to win the ball and conjure a goal. I can never fault these lads’ commitment and dedication. We scored 13 points and that will win a lot of games over the course of the championship. I can’t be anything but proud of the lads.”
This game rounded off his third season in charge of the Déise but he will hold off on any decision about his future for now. “I’ve got a great relationship with the county board, with the players and with our tight-knit group of supporters. I’ve loved my time in Waterford but tonight’s not the night to be talking about that; there’s a lot of wounds to be licked.”
Their summer showings belie a team stranded towards the bottom of Division 4. “We operate with a very small base. Out of the team that were involved today, eight of them didn’t play in the middle four games of the league. Waterford can’t compete with that. You’re dealing with a small pool of players; we got a few injuries and suspensions so ultimately we suffered during the league. It’s frustrating.”
He didn’t start with his strongest hand on Saturday either. Brian Looby left for America after the Cork defeat while experienced defender Tadhg Ó hUallacháin sustained a broken nose in a recent challenge game. “Tadhg is a Waterford diehard; if you had 15 Tadhg Ó hUallacháins you would be going a long way. He underwent surgery this morning and he texted me before it and after it.”
Derry boss Damien Barton praised his team for avoiding a potential banana skin but criticised captain Enda Lynn for exacerbating a hamstring injury in a league game earlier in the week. The Greenlough forward came on in the second half against Slaughtneil.
“Enda didn’t start because he participated in a league game stupidly on Monday night. Enda is crazy whenever it comes to football and whenever it comes to training. He came into a game against Slaughtneil and it was 3-2 at half time so Enda thought he could do something. He aggravated a hamstring injury which was stupid on his part. He wasn’t supposed to play. The physio tells you one thing and he does the opposite. It was stupid on his part and it’s not acceptable what he did either because at the end of the day a lot of people have made a commitment to this. He’s our best player in terms of carrying a ball past the tackle and pace through the middle third.”
In front of 1,067 spectators, Danny Heavron’s thumping strike fifteen minutes into the second half decided this first round tie. After clutching a two-point half time advantage, the away side came out and posted 1-5 without response.
Derry stamped their authority from the throw in by striking four points inside eight minutes. Waterford wore an unfamiliar navy and blue combination and worked themselves back into contention through the endeavours of Gavin Crotty, Fearghal Ó Cuirrín and Tommy Prendergast. Goalkeeper Stephen Enright also saved brilliantly from Heavron.
The Déise squandered five opportunities during the third quarter however and went 25 minutes without a score.
All Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1A Waterford 0-13 Derry 1-17
Waterford 0-13 Derry 1-17
Scorers for Waterford:
D Breathnach (0-5, 3 frees); G Crotty (0-3); T Prendergast, F Ó Cuirrín (0-2 each), P Whyte (0-1).
Scorers for Derry:
D Heavron (1-1); J Kielt (2 frees), D Tallon (0-3 each); N Loughlin (1 free), C McFaul, R Bell (0-2 each); N Keenan, C McKaigue, E McGuckin, M Lynch (0-1 each).
S Enright; A Trihy, T O’Gorman, S Dalton; C Murray, R O Ceallaigh, J McGrath; T Prendergast, M Curry; J Veale, P Whyte, S Prendergast; D Breathnach, F Ó Cuirrín, G Crotty.
M O’Halloran for McGrath (17, BC); P Hurney for Veale (47); D Guiry for Murray (50); L Ó Corraoin for Dalton (54); F Galvin for Ó Cuirrín (61); K Murphy for Prendergast (71).
B McKinless; N Keenan, B Rogers, K McKaigue; M McEvoy, C McWilliams, C McFaul; C McAtamney, C McKaigue; J Kielt, B Heron, D Tallon; R Bell, D Heavron, N Loughlin.
E McGuckin for Loughlin (H-T); M Lynch for Bell (45); S McGuigan for Kielt (48); N Forrester for McFaul (55); C Nevin for McAtamney (60); G O’Neill for Heron (63).
J Henry (Mayo)
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