60-minute display is important
MAN-OF-THE-MATCH Hugh McGinn insists Newtown Blues won't be getting carried away by Sunday's lanslide victory over Mattock Rangers - especially with champions St Patrick's waiting to bring them down a peg or two in the semi-final.
'Pat's are the standard bearers at this level, we'll be just trying to compete with them on the day,' he said after kicking 2-6 in a facile victory. 'Everyone has an off-day and Pats are allowed that, I'm sure that's all it was against the Mary's. I'm sure they'll come out all guns blazing for us in a couple of weeks.'
Ficusing on his own team, McGinn was relieved to see the Blues deliver a complete performance for the first time this term.
'We had a couple of focus points tonight. The main one was that we wanted a 60-minute performance. We have been going well for 45 minutes lately, but generally we've underperformed at times, so we just wanted a solid 60 minutes.'
Goals were another point of concern, but they addressed that issue in style too, netting six.
'We haven't really been scoring goals this last few years and it's something we've been working on. We've been creating chances in League games, but it just wasn't transferring to the Championship, so it's about time we put up a big score.'
The former Louth man insisted it wasn't as easy at it looked and that it was the early second-half strikes that made it look so comfortable.
'We didn't want to give them any sort of hope at half-time. It was nil-all again as far as we were concerned and with the strong breeze we didn't want to give them any encouragement. Mattock are like that, they're capable of nicking a couple of goals and all of a sudden we'd be in a dogfight, so we had to put them away in the first ten minutes.'
For supporters Sunday's performance was timely throw-back to the teams of the mid-noughties, that reached a couple of finals and won Joe Ward in 2008. McGinn though was cautiously optimistic.
'I don't know if we're there yet, but we're working on it. We know we have the players to cut teams open, but we're still a work in progress. It's going in the right direction.
'It's going to be a helluva few weeks before the semi-final with eveybody fighting for a place. Jamie [Carr] coming back in there and Andy [McDonnell] coming back from America is a boost too.
'We slipped up in the semi-final last year, so we want to go one better.'