'Paid the price for a poor first half' - Connor


'Paid the price for a poor first half' - Connor
Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Downings manager Andy Connor was disappointed that they had let the game slip away in the first half and gave themselves a mountain to climb, in the second.

Blackhill led 0-9 to 0-3 at halftime.

“We did not perform in the first half at all,” was how the Downings’ boss summed up yesterday’s defeat.

“We just didn’t get out of the blocks in the first half and if you allow any team build up a six point lead at this level you are always battling from then on.”

The manager was struggling to come up with the answer how his side did not get into the game at all in the opening 30 minutes.

“I’m not sure what it was but I do think we stood off them in the first half in defence.

“They were winning too much easy ball out in front and in fairness to them too, nearly everything they kicked in the first half went over.

“They kicked some wonderful scores from difficult positions and this may because we weren’t putting them under enough pressure.

“In the second half we did perform a bit better and did put them under pressure but unfortunately the goal chance we needed never came.

“We were still in the game midway through the first half after Lorcan (Connor) kicked two quick points. We were happy enough with that because we had not been playing well but were still in the game.

“They kicked a number of good scores towards the end of the half and pulled away and they were 0-9 to 0-3 up at half-time.

“We had a mountain to climb in the second half but we asked them at halftime to go out and perform in the second half better than they had done in the first half.

We asked them to go out and win the second half and at least to have that to take away from the game.”

Injury took its toll too and made the Donegal champions task even a more difficult one.

“We lost Colin (Gallagher) and Shaun (McBride) to injury in the course of the game which were big blows. They are two big players for us.

“Eric Roberts could not play and he scored three points the last day. He hurt his ankle in training last Saturday and Gary ‘Bán’ injured his knee a few months ago and he was only started his first game in nine weeks and he was a bit rusty.

“Unfortunately, that is football and we have to live with it.”

Despite, the disappointment of the defeat the manager was pleased with the effort put in by his players in the second half.

“We did well in the second half and put it up to them. I was just thinking if we could get a goal we would put them under pressure.

“There was one stage the lead was down to five and we had a chance. Lorcan was straight through but he just took the wrong option and they went down the field and scored.”