Hurling & Camogie

Mickey McCann happy his Donegal side have a chance to put right heavy Wicklow defeat

Donegal hurling manager Mickey McCann
Donegal hurling manager Mickey McCann

DONEGAL exorcised the demons of a heavy defeat to Wicklow with a narrow win over Tyrone last weekend that sets them up with a Division 2B semi-final clash with the Garden county on Saturday. 

The Tír Chonaill men were soundly beaten by 19 points when they took on Wicklow the weekend before last, but manager Mickey McCann was able to enjoy a welcome change of fortunes in the space of seven days as the Red Hands were seen off by a point, 1-18 to 1-17, in Letterkenny on Sunday. 

“We were well below par against Wicklow and we were looking for a response and I am glad that we got just that,” said McCann. 

“We needed to pick up things and we did and we had more intensity irrespective of what the result was.” 

Donegal led 1-9 to 1-8 at half-time after coming from four points down in the middle of the opening half. 

“We were in a good position at the break as we had the wind in the second half, and we decided at half-time that another game against Wicklow would not be a bad idea,” said McCann.

“It looked grim for us when they went four points up in the first half and that was a good test for us and thankfully, we came through it. 

“There were a lot of good displays out there and Jack O’Loughlin had a particularly fine game. 

“And there was a lot of intensity as well for a so-called dead rubber.

“I was talking to Tyrone manager Mickey McShane and he said they had been going all out to win it but I don’t think they will be too concerned that they lost the match. 

“You must go out to win and you can’t tell players that you are not bothered as the competitive instinct should always be there”.

McCann was particularly pleased with the contribution of the younger players. 

“Ciaran Bradley made his debut and played well and Sean Ward and Oisin Marley came on and hit 0-2 each which is always an encouraging sign and Brian McIntyre was also impressive,” he said. 

“We struggled in midfield against Wicklow and you have to remember that Liam McKinney and Ruairi Campbell are still only 18 and 19.” 

On a more worrying front, Gerard Gilmore looks to be out for the Wicklow rematch after getting a blow from a hurl in the face.