Strength of squad key to Derry victory
Derry’s Hat-trick hero Katie McAuley and manager John A Mullan were keen to praise the strength of the Derry squad for playing a major factor in their performance in the NWP Recycling Ulster Senior Camogie Final. Derry were dominant all over the pitch as evidenced in the 6-13 to 0-6 scoreline that was played out in Casement Park on Sunday. Katie McAuley finished the game with a whopping tally of 3-4 but modestly stated it was ‘one of those days’. This was Derry’s first time winning the new Rosina McManus trophy
“Once we got on top we gelled well together. Casement suited us as a large pitch, our girls were able to spread out and have their own space. It’s a game we actually started from the beginning as the past while we have had stronger second halves and leaving it to the end. It was a good day at the office and maybe on another day those goals wouldn’t go in. There was a lot of support play and everything clicked. The Ulster Championship was important to us but the next thing is the All-Ireland and we have a large squad with plenty pushing for places.
Derry are due to play Antrim again this Saturday in the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship group stages and John A Mullan doesn’t expect Derry to be as dominant this weekend.
“Antrim are a good team and we were scared of them. This was maybe a performance you get once a year where everything clicks on the day but this team deserved it. We’ll expect a backlash from Antrim, they’re not a bad team, maybe just a bit young and inexperienced but if Antrim had of had the start we had then it could have been a whole lot different. Our whole defence was very good and we didn’t concede many scores which is due to the amount of tackling and work the forwards went through”.
“In the past we’ve maybe lacked mental strength and in my time with Derry we had never won a close match up until the Down game. The strength of the panel now is allowing us to do that and when you can bring on five sets of fresh legs and not dip in quality it leaves you in a good position. I thought the referee was superb, he was consistent and he let the game flow to be fair to him”
Both counties will be looking towards the All-Ireland Intermediate title and Croke Park in September however they must play again on Saturday in Portglenone at 2.45pm