POST-MATCH REACTION: CONFEY V SKERRIES HARPS: CONFEY SELECTOR JOHN MALONE
By Daire Walsh
Confey’s Championship odyssey continued in style in Parnell Park on Sunday, as they came through a tough encounter with Dublin’s Skerries Harps to reach the 2011 Leinster Intermediate Football Championship Final.
Speaking after the game, Confey selector John Malone stated that everyone in the club was thrilled with the victory, especially when you take in account how physically imposing this particular Skerries side are.
“Of course (we’re delighted). We knew they were kind of good coming in, but you can’t really know how good they are until you’ve seen them play. They were a very strong team coming out. They looked strong, they looked fit. I thought we struggled around midfield to win a lot of breaks and a lot of clean ball. To pull it back, because we were really struggling in the first half, and turn it around (was great) because they were very strong,” remarked Malone.
Throughout the game, there were a number of key moments that helped to swing the game in the direction of Confey, with the two goals from James Gately and Eoin Fitzpatrick being particularly crucial. Malone understands the worth that goals can have in a game of this nature, and he felt the first goal in particular gave them some room to breathe.
“That’s it. Goals win games, goals are invaluable. You can’t put a price on them. You can sit back a while and kind of rest a bit. They still had to get three scores to get back to us. We rested for that little bit and then exploded again. We were lucky enough to get the second goal.”
Their successful run in the Provincial Championship had been made all the more impressive by the fact that county man Hugh Lynch has been missing for a number of months with a long-term injury. However, in addition to the talismanic Lynch, Confey are also currently without a host of other players, whom Malone is hoping may be back in time for the decider against Eire Og of Greystones.
“There are a lot of players missing. We were missing Hugh, Mitch McCann who’s away. He’ll be back for the final hopefully. Obviously Aido Cawley broke his leg a couple of weeks ago, and Conor Feeney has an operation as well. So, there are a lot of lads to come back in. They’ll be coming right now in a few weeks, and be back in training. Hopefully they’ll be back to put a lot of pressure on the lads there”.
Aside from the attacking threat of Gately and Fitzpatrick, Confey also had a strong defensive unit at their disposal and Malone (who forms a strong partnership with manager Ronan Quinn) is full of praise for the way that they have performed throughout the year.
“The defence, especially this year, has been excellent. Conor Jennings, Frank Ryder and even John O’Neill who came in from the last day and started today, they were absolutely brilliant over the last six months. Once they got together in that little tight-knit team that they have, they’re working well for each other,” Malone added.