League title and championship semi-final not enough for ambitious Maghery says manager Finnian Moriarty
MAGHERY won the senior league and reached the semi-finals of the championship in Finnian Moriarty's first season as manager but, despite that, the former Armagh defender says the loughshore club has “fallen short” of its target in 2019.
That's an indication of how high the Sean McDermott's club, who bowed out of the championship at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday night after losing to defending champions Crossmaglen, set their bar.
“Our aspirations were to win the championship and if you don't get there you have fallen short,” said a disappointed Moriarty after the 2-9 to 0-8 loss to Cross.
“They are a great bunch of lads to work with, they are very humble and they will do anything they're asked – they run themselves into the ground for Maghery. It has been a great experience working with them this season but the aspiration was to win the championship and if you don't get there, you have fallen short.”
Maghery had plenty of the ball on Saturday night and they created enough scoring chances to win the game but they couldn't take them and Cross deservedly progressed to the decider against Ballymacnab on October 20.
“We wasted a lot of ball,” Moriarty admitted.
“It's hard playing up the hill but in the first half you should have enough energy to get up and support the man on the ball and we didn't have that. We gave the ball away too much but we have no excuses, the better team won on the night.”
Meanwhile, Crossmaglen progress to another final and Moriarty has been impressed with how the south Armagh kingpins have managed to introduce emerging players to their team without losing their cutting edge.
“You look at other teams and there is a transition but they have dropped boys in there for this game and they had massive games for them," he said.
"They wouldn't be household names – obviously the household names played well too – put they had a few new faces who came in and did very well.”