Friday 19 January 2018

A whole new ball game for Bayly with Boynesiders

Marcus Cavaroli

Having watched Jack Bayly play his first two games in a Drogheda jersey, it's clear that this is a man on a mission.

In four years since making his first-team debut for St Pat's, the 21-year-old had made only a handful of appearances, and having left Richmond Park and signed for Drogheda a fortnight ago he is relishing the opportunity to get out and play at the highest level.

And given that he's not really match-fit yet, there's every prospect that the attacking midfielder can go on to be a key player for the Boynesiders in the remaining weeks of the season.

Speaking after receiving the Drogheda Independent Man of the Match award for the Cork game, Bayly said: 'Last week, to be honest, I was struggling in the second half and got a bit tired after 20 minutes. Tonight I felt good up to the 80-minute mark and then my calf started to cramp up, but I just kept going to the end and did my best.

'Hopefully the game time will benefit me in the long run and I'll keep improving and developing. I was with Pats for two or three years and got one game every two or three months.

'I tried to get out last year. All I want to do is play football, play football, play football and I'm so excited to be here and to have my family here watching me.'

Jack, whose father Richie played for Drogheda in the 1980s, took some satisfaction from his team's performance against the champions elect and feels the battle to avoid relegation hasn't been lost just yet.

'We gave it a good go. We stayed in the game and that's what matters when you're down at the bottom of the league,' he reflected.

'I thought we could have nicked something at the end. There was a penalty shout and we had one or two chances, and we were a bit unlucky. I'm going to say I think it was a penalty because Chris [Mulhall] will kill me if I don't say that!

'We need a bit of luck to fall our way in the next few games and we can definitely crawl up that table slowly but surely. I don't think getting out of relegation is beyond us. Three or six points and all of a sudden there can be a turnaround.

'I've only been in two weeks, but the atmosphere has been good. We're trying to build a bit of momentum. The last two games have been tough against Pats and Cork, but the next two we have to look to win.

'Bray and Bohs, we have to try and get six points out of six. We're performing well now - it's just about turning those performances into results.'

Before taking on Bray in the Carlisle Grounds on Friday week, attention turns to the FAI Cup where Drogheda travel to Evergreen on Sunday.

While respecting last season's FAI Junior Cup finalists, Bayly feels Drogheda have the opportunity to resurrect their season in the competition.

'It will be good to try and get a run because we're hitting a bit of form and you never know. We could do well in the cup and make a name for ourselves and maybe win something.

'Mikey Drennan is the only fella I know who plays for them, but the lads are going to research some of their games from last year, so we should have a bit of information on them and hopefully we can get the win.'

Turning back to the Cork game, Bayly was appreciative of the home supporters' backing throughout the 90-plus minutes.

'The crowd really got behind us,' he said. 'Once the effort is there from the lads and they're giving 100% the fans can relate to it and get behind us and that's all we need.

'Even at the end they were up for it and we were pushing for the goal and it helped and it was a good atmosphere.'

Drogheda Independent

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