BOTH manager’s involved in this Friday’s quarter-final have discounted the importance of their pre-Christmas group stages clash when Maghera won by four.
Jody Gormley, the long-term Abbey boss, said that the 0-13 to 0-17 defeat owed much to the fact that his team had already qualified at that stage.
While Martin McConnell, who manages Maghera alongside former Derry star Sean Marty Lockhart, argued that the teams that play on Friday will be markedly different to those which met over two months ago.
Gormley did admit though, that he would have preferred victory in that meeting.
“We would have been happier to win all our games,” said Gormley.
“But we were well beaten by Maghera in the league stages. Though we had more or less qualified at that stage. The main thing was getting to the knockout draw.”
Gormley has something of an advantage over in that he knows what it takes to manage a team to MacRory Cup glory having done so in 2006, when the Abbey beat St Louis Kilkeel in the decider.
He also suggested that perhaps his team were not in the right frame of mind for their first game against Maghera.
“When teams qualify sometimes they can look ahead of themselves,” he said, though Gormley was quick to praise the talent of his team.
“We have a lot of players who are willing to work exceptionally hard. Their commitment to training has been excellent.”
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