O'Rourke delighted with stirring Monaghan success
By Cian O'Connell
Manager Malachy O'Rourke acknowledged Saturday's All Ireland Quarter Final Group One win over Galway at Pearse Stadium as a 'massive day' for Monaghan.
A huge travelling support gleefully celebrated when Monaghan secured their first semi-final appearance since 1988 by beating Galway in Salthill.
Ryan McAnespie was one of Monaghan's stars contributing four points from play with O'Rourke impressed. "Ryan has been playing superbly well all year, and he probably got that bit more space," O'Rourke remarked. "Look it, it’s a great day, scenes like that it’s usually after winning something.
"We know as well it was a massive day for the Monaghan supporters, a massive day for us all. But it only gets you through to an All-Ireland semi-final."
How difficult was it for Monaghan to deal with David Clifford's last gasp goal for Kerry at Clones a fortnight ago? "In the immediate aftermath of the game it was tough because we were so close and then they caught us at the death," O'Rourke stated about that draw.
"We knew we had played some great football that day, we knew that we had been playing well, it was just a matter of drawing a line under it straight away and refocussing. "After we lost to Fermanagh in the Ulster Championship we would have given our right arm to be coming down here to get a point or two points to get through to an All-Ireland semi-final.
"So no, when that initial disappointment was over we were just delighted to have the chance to come down here and we looked forward to it and we got the result."
Monaghan simply refused to feel sorry for themselves which pleased O'Rourke.
"No, we weren’t thinking like that at all," O'Rourke added. "I suppose as well as that, a lot of the pundits said afterwards that if you stop Rory Beggan and if you stop Conor McManus you stop Monaghan.
"But I think the boys proved we got a lot of scores from a lot of different areas, it was a really good team performance.
"So we proved there was a bit more in the team there as well. All credit to the players, it was a tough one – the defeat against Fermanagh. We sat down the week after that and the boys said we want to commit to getting to the Super Eights, we did that, the boys have trained brilliantly and I’m delighted for all of them."