Saturday 21 July 2018

O'Rourke happy to 'draw a line under' failed campaign in Ulster

Monaghan 5-21 Waterford 0-9

One-year-old Waterford supporter Fia White, from Dungarvan, enjoys the Fraher Field pitch after the game against Monaghan. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
One-year-old Waterford supporter Fia White, from Dungarvan, enjoys the Fraher Field pitch after the game against Monaghan. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Ciarán Gallagher

Malachy O'Rourke insists that Monaghan have parked the disappointment of their failed Ulster campaign following their qualifier win over Waterford.

The Farneys did a demolition job on the Déise at Fraher Field last Saturday afternoon, recording a 27-point victory after hitting five goals via Conor McManus, Karl O'Connell, Fintan Kelly, Dessie Mone and Shane Carey.

Shane Carey of Monaghan in action against Brian Looby of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Shane Carey of Monaghan in action against Brian Looby of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Ahead of this morning's draw for the third round of the qualifiers, O'Rourke claimed that the win had a cathartic effect after the shock of losing to his native Fermanagh.

"It takes a few weeks to get a loss like that out of the system and then coming down here to get a win, I think that sort of draws a line under it," said O'Rourke.

"We're out of the Ulster Championship and it's a new Championship now. The boys have worked really hard this year. We just wanted to be in the draw on Monday morning and no matter who we're paired against, we know it's going to be another challenge."

While Monaghan still have plenty to work on - some first-half passages of play here upset by sloppy hand-passing - they eased to victory in Dungarvan without ever coming close to top gear.

Shane Carey, 26, and Neil McAdam of Monaghan in action against Stephen Prendergast of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Shane Carey, 26, and Neil McAdam of Monaghan in action against Stephen Prendergast of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

The visitors led by six by the time Waterford got off the mark via midfielder Kieran Power as the hosts could not cope with the physicality and pace of the Ulster side, who boasted 15 scorers on the day.

McManus - who failed to score from play - raised Monaghan's first green flag from a 20th-minute penalty after a lively Ryan McAnespie was brought down, with the latter working alongside Jack McCarron to tee up Karl O'Connell to slot a second goal on 33 minutes.

The impressive Conor McCarthy worked Fintan Kelly in to finish a third goal in first-half injury-time after quickfire points from midfielders Niall Kearns and Darren Hughes, which meant it was game over at the break as Monaghan led by 3-11 to 0-4.

"We knew with Waterford that their defensive system probably wouldn't be as developed (as Fermanagh's) and that there would be gaps appearing, so we were able to punish that," said O'Rourke, who utilised his bench with debutant Barry Kerr forced off after a 44th-minute black card.

Conor McCarthy of Monaghan in action against Aidan Trihy of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Conor McCarthy of Monaghan in action against Aidan Trihy of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Subs Mone and Carey grabbed Monaghan's second-half goals, while Waterford missed out on a consolation goal as JJ Hutchinson hit the woodwork on the hour mark.

"You don't have a lot of time to be sitting around analysing teams now," said O'Rourke on Monaghan's back-door plans. "You have a quick look at the other team and I suppose the big thing is avoiding injuries," added the Farney boss, who attributed Kieran Hughes' curious absence from the match-day panel as being down a "hamstring problem."

O'Rourke added: "He hasn't been able to train fully with us the last couple of weeks, so it's just a case of trying to get it cleared up and getting him back up to match speed."

Waterford manager Tom McGlinchey will weigh up his future with the county board after a mixed qualifier campaign following a surprise win over Wexford and this heavy defeat.

Conor McManus of Monaghan in action against Thomas O'Gorman of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Conor McManus of Monaghan in action against Thomas O'Gorman of Waterford. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

"You see Fermanagh building from Division 3 to 2 and Carlow going on a run from Division 4 to 3, so that's what Waterford need to do, move up the divisions and just get that progression," said McGlinchey.

"I have to sit down with the county board now. Our year is over… so we'll take a bit of time now to see where we go from here."

Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport