Mallow footballers need to up the ante to have a chance against Castlehaven

Poor performance for three quarters of the last group game in losing to Douglas means Mallow are huge underdogs for their next Premier SFC tie 
Mallow footballers need to up the ante to have a chance against Castlehaven

Mallow's Darragh Moynihan scores his goal past Douglas goalkeeper Brian Boyle during the Bon Secours Premier SFC at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

MALLOW manager, Keith Moynihan, was at a loss to explain his side’s insipid display for three-quarters of their concluding Bon Secours Group B game against Douglas in difficult conditions at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday.

They trailed by 2-10 to 1-2 after 45 minutes, but outscored their opponents 1-8 to 0-1 in the remainder to just come up shy by a point in the end.

Mallow had already qualified for the quarter-finals, where they’ll face Castlehaven at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday week at 7pm, going in as number three seeds to the Haven’s four.

“I wonder if that played on the lads’ minds,” Moynihan said afterwards. “As a management team, we tried to eliminate that as a factor. We did our best to talk about being the best possible group winner we could be though obviously competing with the likes of Nemo and St Finbarr’s.

“There was an obvious safety net there for us, but subconsciously it had to be there for them. I don’t know, really.

Had we performed and being beaten is one thing, but when you don’t perform for 45 minutes, that is hard to take.”

As for the Haven? “It’s a huge task. They’re around so long.” 

Mallow went 32 minutes without a score following the first of Darragh Moynihan’s brace of goals after 16 minutes.

Captain Ryan Harkin bagged their first point from play after 48 minutes and there was an immediate sense of urgency from that stage on.

“It didn’t make any difference to us who we would be facing really because we were just so disappointed at the way we were playing ourselves.

“We needed to respond and the changes we made, as well as having the wind, helped because we hadn’t performed until then.

“Once we got our second goal and added a few more scores, you could see Douglas were started to get rattled and it was easier to push up on their kick-out with the wind.

Mallow's Jack Dillon is tackled by Douglas' Sean Powter on Sunday. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Mallow's Jack Dillon is tackled by Douglas' Sean Powter on Sunday. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“We were able to force turnovers and stuff like that, things that we talked about doing all game just came together towards the end.

“Douglas had a purple patch in the first half when scoring 1-6 without reply and that put us under pressure.

“We were just so disappointed at how we performed, but, at least the lads came away with some bit of respect and nearly got there in the end.”

Mallow’s management cut a frustrated lot on the sideline as they watched their charges struggle all over the pitch.

“We were lamenting the fact that we seemed very nervous and very tentative, getting as far as their 65, but struggling to penetrate even though Douglas had set up well.

“They were very effective themselves in their tackling and they didn’t lose too many balls, so too many times we weren’t good enough in the right area.

“We will have to look at ourselves and see where we can improve for the quarter-final."

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