BY RYAN FERRY
LOUTH manager Aidan O’Rourke bemoaned the fact that it was too late in the game before his team started to play when he spoke after yesterday’s defeat to Donegal in Ballyshannon yesterday.
“I’m obviously very disappointed that we waited until the second half before we started to play any football and ultimately that cost us our Division 2 status,” he said.
“When we did get up and running we showed that we are more than capable, but we’ve had the same problem the whole way through the league. We have only been good for one half or twenty minute periods and that’s not enough at this level.”
Like everyone else, O’Rourke must have believed Donegal were home and dry after their blistering start and the tepid opening from his own charges.
“Donegal were out of sight before our lads even realised they were in a contest. I don’t know why that was. I don’t have the answers right now, we’ll just have to get back to work and try to get it sorted out.
“We had the opposite problem at the beginning of the league. We were starting very well and not finishing games in the second half. But in our last couple of games, we have been very flat at the start of our matches.
“We put it up to Donegal with those goals, but we squandered three other good chances. Obviously, Donegal took their foot off the pedal at that stage and maybe thought they were over the line.”
If there were any positives, he at least believed he had several players who showed true grit on a day when it would have been so easy to throw in the towel.
“I have to give credit t some of our men. Seven or eight of them showed a lot of heart out there and fought on and Donegal gave us gaps and we exploited them.
“Maybe if we could have got a few bounces of the ball in that period when we were on top, we might have got another few goals and the scoreline would be different. But you can’t just play one half of football and you’re not going to get anything at this level of football if you do.”