By Michael McMullan
DERRY manager Rory Gallagher feels there is more to come from his squad to meet their ” high standards” after Saturday’s 12-point win over Limerick.
It was a game that saw Conor Glass captain Derry at senior level for the first time, with Glen’s Ethan Doherty also getting a first start of the season.
Shane McGuigan hit nine points on an afternoon that saw the Oakleafers hit seven wides in a controlled performance.
“You’d love to win by building the scores a bit easier than we did,” Gallagher commented after the game.
“Limerick changed tact from the McGrath Cup which we expected…they went very defensive. There was a bit of over eagerness from ourselves and bad finishing.
“We won by 12 points and I don’t think Limerick had any over ambition to win the game.”
Derry were 0-7 to 0-2 ahead at the break despite having an early Lachlan Murray goal ruled out after Ethan Doherty was deemed to have taken too many steps in the build-up.
Limerick hit two on the bounce after the break to leave four points between the teams, but Derry pushed on for a routine win.
“We set ourselves high standards and a lot of individuals did well but they have an awful lot of ground to make up, so we’ll learn from week to week now,” added the Derry boss who will take his team into Sunday’s trip to Louth.
Derry then host Meath, travel to Kildare before promotion favourites Dublin come to Celtic Park in Round 5.
When asked if there he had any doubt in putting Glen duo Glass and Doherty into the side six days after their All-Ireland final defeat to Kilmacud Crokes, his answer was simple.
Why? He also pointed to the Sleacht Néill players coming back in after their All-Ireland hurling exit with a similar turnaround last season.
Gallagher also highlighted his own scenario that saw him kick seven points for Fermanagh in a defeat to Wexford just four days after pulling the strings in St Gall’s All-Ireland final win in 2010.
“I just think that kind of talk is loose…I don’t buy it,” Gallagher said of chatter suggesting the Glass and Doherty may have been afforded time off before getting back in with the county.
The duo and Conleth McGuckian were at training on Wednesday, but didn’t partake.
“They have incredible mental strength,” he said of Glass and Doherty’s mind-set to play. There may have been others that don’t have that mental strength, but those two boys have. I know their mentality and I know they love playing football.”