McStay satisfied with Roscommon triumph
By Cian O'Connell
Kevin McStay is satisfied with how Roscommon's spring has unfolded. Promotion was secured last weekend, while Roscommon added the Allianz Football League title following a goal laden triumph over Cavan at Croke Park.
Roscommon eventually prevailed by 4-16 to 4-12 following an entertaining contest at GAA headquarters, but McStay's focus remains on ensuring his team deliver once more in the Connacht Championship.
"It is a win, we got promoted, and we got the cup as well," McStay reflected after the game. "The League is over for us now, we are in Division One as we hoped to be.
"I don't think anybody is getting carried away with the type of match that was there. It was good that we don't show our hand too much at this time of the year, I'm really happy for the lads, they showed great fighting spirit, they could have shied away from it a few times.
"It looked like we were bet, we had it won a few times, and started helping Cavan get back into it. Overall it is a happy dressing room."
McStay expected an open and attractive match, which is precisely what transpired at the Jones Road venue. "Cavan were never going to close it down and we weren't either," McStay commented.
"It is the League, it is kind of a bonus game and nobody is going to show their hand up here. We have a big match coming up that can qualify us for a Connacht Final against Leitrim or New York. We weren't going to be showing our hand too much.
"The Leitrim or New York challenge is our next challenge, they go to their clubs now for the month of April. Down in Roscommon that is the arrangement we have, I think we will see them on April 24 and then a month later we have Leitrim or New York. The time blocks are fine for us, we are happy with it from our perspective."
With refreshing honesty McStay discussed Roscommon's early difficulties when Cavan plundered two goals in the opening nine minutes.
"We made a mistake in the management, we didn't want to give them an overlap out around the 50 so we pushed Niall (Kilroy) up and didn't play a sweeper for the first quarter and we paid a heavy price for it," McStay stated.
"There is nobody infallible around here. In hindsight it is easy to say we made an error, but the tackling wasn't good enough. We fell off tackles and didn't stand up to tackles so they got clean through. We would be disappointed with that, we had the insurance policy with Niall and we didn't use it until after the second goal. We had to cash in our chips."
Cavan boss Mattie McGleenan was 'disappointed' that Cavan didn't secure silverware despite a gutsy display. "I thought at half-time we were in a pretty good place, I would be disappointed, we had three or four short into the goalkeeper's hands and allowed Roscommon,who are excellent on the counter attack, they got some fantastic points in the first half," was McGleenan's assessment.
The injury enforced departure of the influential Cavan captain Dara McVeety was a significant blow according to McGleenan. "It was a huge turning point from our side of things, but you can't concede four goals.
"Every time we made a mistake Roscommon punished us by scoring a goal and that is something we will have to look at over the next six weeks ahead of the Championship."