Moyna relishing Carlow challenge

Long-serving DCU manager Niall Moyna. Credit: Sportsfile

DCU Gaelic football manager Niall Moyna has said he is looking forward to the challenge posed by his side’s quarter final opponents Carlow IT in this year’s Sigerson Cup.

Speaking after DCU’s 6-14 to 1-7 win over Athlone IT, Moyna said that he was disappointed with his team’s first half conversion rate in terms of scoring – but conceded that goals from Shane Carthy and Conor McGraynor on the stroke of half time ultimately sealed the victory.

“(In) the first half we weren’t good, I think we were very hesitant. It was our first game in the competition this year so maybe we were a little bit afraid to make mistakes,” he said.

“We took Athlone very seriously – as far as we’re concerned tonight was the final, we treat every Sigerson game as a final. We’re a little bit disappointed but my view all along would be that if we got two or three points up that they’d have to open up and we’d get lots of scoring opportunities.

“We had eleven wides in the first half – a lot of error in shooting and bad decision making but at the end, to be fair to Conor McGraynor, he worked his socks off and those two goals probably put a fair reflection on the scoreboard at the end of the first half.”

A hat-trick from Monaghan forward, Carthy, oversaw a dominant second half showing from DCU – with December’s disappointing Ryan Cup final defeat to UCD now a distant memory for the reigning Sigerson champions, with Moyna highlighting his squad’s hunger for starting places as a key motivational tool.

“The lads have really put a huge effort in since the Ryan Cup final. We’re getting a lot of our players back, we’re still missing probably five starters tonight but we purposefully didn’t play a few of them.

“Maybe one or two of them could have played, but we were very cautious so hopefully we’ll have them back. The great thing about it is that there’s phenomenal competition for places in the team and that’s healthy, so hopefully that’ll bring the best out of the players in the next few weeks.”

His side will now face a trip away to Carlow IT for a place in this year’s semi-finals, with UCC facing UCD, Ulster University Jordanstown playing St. Mary’s University College and UL playing the winners of Maynooth versus Queen’s University in the rest of the competition’s quarter finals – the Monaghan manager relishing the challenges of the quality opposition that the later stages of the Sigerson provides.

“It’s a huge step up. Jordanstown and UCD are the two favourites, they’re going to be very, very hard to beat. But look we have to play Carlow IT – as far as we’re concerned that’s the Sigerson final in two weeks and that’s the way we’re going to take it. They’re a big, strong physical team and we’re looking forward to it.”

Aaron Gallagher

Image credit: Sportsfile

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