OMAGH CBS manager Kieran Donnelly is confident that his young squad are mentally strong enough to rebound from the bitter disappointment of seeing a MacRory Cup Final slot snatched from their grasp on Saturday.
The Brothers had all but sealed their date in Ulster Schools showpiece decider on St Patricks’ weekend when they conceded a dramatic penalty goal in the last action of the match at Dunmoyle and now must do it all over again at the Athletic Grounds this evening (Wednesday at 6.30pm).
While the spot kick award appeared soft, Donnelly was keen to focus on the performance on his own squad and believed that overall match official Paul Faloon had a decent display.
“I thought Paul had a good game. It’s a tough job to have to do and he called it. From where I saw it I thought it was harsh but I will have to look at it again. Yes it was disappointing but in fairness to our fellas their heads are still up and we are still in the competition. We know we are a good team and that we will have to perform a a lot better.”
The CBS coach admitted that he believed his side were pushing on for victory after an enterprising showing after the interval, with the likes of Simon Garrity and Aodhan McConnell slotting over some excellent points.
“It was a strange game. We took a great stranglehold in that crucial period in the second half and we went four or five points up. We felt we were kicking on especially when the gap opened to five we thought we could close it out. There was just a few mistakes and we forced a few passes when we didn’t have to.
“But it’s a semi-final and no team is going to lie down. They had a bit of height and they kept probing. At times it did look like goal chances were on but I felt defensively we were very solid. It was a competitive game but I felt we should have closed it out. Credit to Armagh they never died and they kept their focus and they got their reward in the end with a penalty to equalise.
“But we still have another chance in the replay and it’s about whoever can maximise their chances on the night will win the game.”
Donnelly knows that Omagh will have to show a more clinical edge within scoring range however if they are to prevail after recording a double digit wides tally at the weekend.
“There is no doubt our shot to score ratio was poor. We created the chances but to win any Championship game you have to be hitting 60 per cent plus. So we fell well below that day. But that’s something we can work on and the need to show that bit more composure. We have a lot of things to iron out for Wednesday night.”