McGarvey expecting a tough test from London

By Shaun Casey

DERRY are expecting a difficult day at the office this weekend when they host London at Owenbeg in round three of the league. The Oakleafers have made a flying start to the season, collecting four points from their first two games.

Johnny McGarvey’s side saw off Ulster rivals Tyrone and Donegal in the first two rounds and London, who lost to Roscommon before beating Wicklow in round two, stand in their way of making it three from three.

Looking back at last year’s Christy Ring Cup encounter, McGarvey won’t take anything for granted this weekend.

“Our game over in London last year, apart from the Meath match, was the toughest game we had,” recalled the Derry boss. “It was a cracking game of hurling, and they have a team full of really, really good players and we probably stole it a wee bit last year.

“That would maybe have qualified them or Tyrone maybe for the Christy Ring final (had London won) so we’re under no illusion as to what to expect.

“We were probably taken back a wee bit by their first result when they lost to Roscommon, but then it seemed to be business as usual against Wicklow so we’re expecting a really tough test.

“They have Jack Goulding there who is a super player. I think he got 3-11 last weekend so we’ll definitely have our hands full with London.

While last year’s clash was in London, McGarvey is delighted that Derry have a little less travelling to do this season. “We had Tyrone at home and Donegal away, which is only an hour up the road.

“We have London and Roscommon at home so we only have one really long journey
and that’s Wicklow. The fixtures have fell in our favour and everybody targets their
home matches.”

McGarvey insists his side, who have posted impressive tallies of 2-20 in both victories against Tyrone and Donegal, still have areas for improvement and could have actually scored more the last day out.

“We’d be content with our start, but we probably haven’t hit the level that we’d like to be. We’re delighted to have won the first two matches, but we have plenty to work on from the two matches as well,” added McGarvey.

“We would have been very disappointed with our first-half display against Donegal and there were 10 or 15 minutes in the Tyrone match where we just didn’t play well but it’s early days, everybody is just trying to get up to speed.

“The Donegal match, we had a lot of wides and a lot of shots that we would be disappointed with. 2-20 is great scoring in both games but in that Donegal one especially, it probably should have been higher than that.

“We passed up a lot of goal chances as well but 4-40 in two matches. We’ve conceded 0-19 and 0-16 in the two games and we haven’t conceded a goal yet so overall we’re happy enough with where we’re at.”

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW