Better to come from us says Watty Graham's Glen forward Danny Tallon as Derry champions prepare for Kilcoo test
WATTY Graham's Glen passed a serious test of their Ulster Championship credentials on Sunday when they outclassed Monaghan's Scotstown and forward Danny Tallon says there is more to come from the Derry champions.
Tallon's first score came in the first minute, his fourth came in the last and in between Glen added 17 points to dismantle an experienced An Bhoth side that was unable to cope with their opponents' ball-winning ability in midfield, their pace in attack or their tenacious tackling in defence.
Reigning Ulster champions Kilcoo are next up for Malachy O'Rourke's men in an eagerly-awaited Ulster semi-final and Tallon, who top scored with 1-3 on Sunday, said: “I think there's more to come. Even though we had a good win, I think we can lift it again and hopefully that'll be the next day out.”
Fans at Oliver Plunkett Park got an early glimpse of Tallon in action for a fledgling Derry team against Armagh under Damian Barton in the now defunct O'Fiaich Cup at Crossmaglen back in 2016. Since then the talented forward has won Ulster minor and U21 titles with Glen.
“We've never got over the line at senior level and we're kind of in bonus territory but at the same time we know we're good enough if we play,” he said.
“We have Kilcoo next, I watched them on Saturday night and they were impressive so we'll have to lift it again for that. I know Mickey (Moran, Kilcoo manager) and obviously he had a lot of success with Slaughtneil in the Ulster club and he's doing the same with Kilcoo so we know we're up against it a bit but it's a challenge, it's something to get excited about.
“We've never been here before and it's an opportunity to test yourself against the best. It's where we want to be.”
The experience and composed confidence of tactically-astute manager Malachy O'Rourke has played a key role in Glen's success this season. Wherever O'Rourke has gone throughout his management career silverware has often followed and he has been down this road before after guiding Derry's Loup to the Ulster club title in 2003.
“It's massive to have him there,” said Tallon.
“With all he's done before, he just gives you massive confidence and calmness. That's obviously what's got us over the line and hopefully we can go a bit further.”
All six starting forwards and both midfielders scored for Glen on Sunday. O'Rourke's men had an impressive spread of scorers throughout their run to a first Derry title and although Donegal's St Eunan's did manage to shackle them in the preliminary round, 10 men in green and yellow got on the scoresheet against Scotstown.
“I probably went out of it in between times (his early scores and late goal) but the main thing was us getting a win,” said Tallon.
“It was tight for a while there in the second half but thankfully we got a few of and then the goal at the end. The scoreboard probably flatters us a bit.”
Glen were always in control on Sunday and, although Scotstown's effort was undermined by the red card shown to Kieran Hughes early in the second half after an off-the-ball incident also involving Conor McDevitt, the Derry men fully deserved their win.
“The sending-off was a game-changer and they came back into it a bit after they went down to 14 men – sometimes you nearly play better with 14 – but Kieran Hughes was playing well for them in the first half so it was a massive loss for them,” said Tallon.
“Thankfully we pushed on after that again and pulled away.”