Cracking game of football today at Celtic Park. Derry showed pride, heart, commitment and skill in abundance. Mistakes were made at times but not dwelt on and they came back stronger every time they got a setback. PJ and Patsy destroyed a much vaunted Laois midfield pairing,there were great scores from many different men and there was also a composure to be seen at the end when Derry held onto the lead they had so hard earned. Mark Lynch made a horrible mistake for the first Laois goal but was magnificent thereafter and played a real captain's role in encouraging and bolstering his team-mates and the point he scored at a vital stage in the second half was only sensational. There is still work to do, of course, but maybe this is a turning point for Derry.
I would say it was an entertaining game of football alright but I would certainly keep my feet on the ground at this stage. 1st half we played some good football but shot selection was poor. Players were attempting shots from unscoreable angles were they should have worked the ball into a more scoreable position. PJ McCloskey had an outstanding game yesterday as did Patsy Bradley. These two players compliment each other well in the middle of the park.
A pleasing aspect of the game was Derry's fitness, we had players on the overlap everytime we attacked and players really driving Derry forward. Emmet McGuckin is going to be a great player, his strenght to hold off men, pick a pass\score etc is excellent.
One point to note is that Chrissy McKaigue has to play fullback, when he was moved into the fullback line at half-time he had a super 2nd half and big Clancy hardly touched leather against McKaigue. As a previous posters said, we need to build on this result and get consistency in our performances but the signs are there that we are moving in the right direction.
I hear you, bonzo - 'careful now', as Ted and Dougal might say. We have to go to Wexford in three weeks time and that won't be easy. Indeed, Derry's last couple of visits to Leinster teams hardly justify overconfidence on our part, consisting as they do of a deserved defeat in Longford and an abysmal second half surrender in Mullingar. All the same, there are signs that the tide is turning, yesterday was very encouraging, What is very pleasing, as oakleaf mentions, is that in every game so far this season Derry have been going strong right until the end, which reflects well on fitness levels and also, I suggest, on a growing confidence and spirit in this Derry panel. Early days, of course, but there are reasons to be hopeful. Chrissy McKaigue has to stay at full-back, though!