Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport GAA

No blame game over Division Two dismissal from Down boss Jim McCorry

By Declan Bogue

Down manager Jim McCorry refused to play the victim card after defeat in the Division Two league final, when he could have easily blamed it on Maurice Deegan's red card for Brendan McArdle in the first half.

"We didn't see it at the time," said McCorry of McArdle's initial yellow. "Listen, it has happened and it is done and dusted."

Pointing to his native Armagh's win over Fermanagh the previous night when Finian Moriarty was dismissed in the first half, McCorry added: "We saw 14 men playing last night and winning the game. Sometimes you will see that 14 men will rally even harder.

"In fairness to the guys, they battled really hard. The other turning point was the quick turnaround at half-time when they rattled off three scores without reply. We made a couple of adjustments on their key players. It didn't work the way we would have liked. We will learn from that."

He also shone some light on the late withdrawal of Mark Poland, who was taken away before the team entered a huddle.

"It was a bad injury and Mark had to go to hospital," he said, before praising the form of Poland throughout the league.

"Our thoughts are with him at the moment and that is more important than the result of the game. Mark Poland has been fantastic this year. He is back to his old self. He is a great passer of the ball. He sets everything up in that inside line. He is a great leader. Losing him at the start disrupted us a wee bit."

Explaining the injury, he said: "He got hit on the eye with the ball at full force and we were concerned a bit with the vision. The doctor assessed him and he was called out straight away.

"That upset the balance of the team a little bit. Some of the adjustments we had used, we had tried in training."

Roscommon boss John Evans couldn't be drawn into explaining how they managed against an 'Ulster-style' team.

"You can say that and I could go with you, but Down don't play that Ulster style, they're footballers, but they do move the ball very fast, they are very defensive, they tackle hard," he said.

"We've a big strong team, we can cope with a lot of things."

And explaining his instructions at half-time, he added: "They were a good few harsh words said to a good few guys. They answered the call."

For McCorry, the league season had already served its purpose.

"The objective was to get into Division One which we have done. The Division Two Cup would've been a bonus," he said.

"We have the Championship coming up in five weeks now and we have to prepare for that."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph