/ GAA

Malachy O'Rourke hails Monaghan hunger and character after extra-time win over Kildare

Updated: Sunday, 03 Aug 2014 11:31 | Comments

Conor McManus shows his delight at the final whistle as Monaghan prevailed over the Lilywhites
Conor McManus shows his delight at the final whistle as Monaghan prevailed over the Lilywhites

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Monaghan boss Malachy O'Rourke paid tribute to the way his side shone through in extra-time of their dramatic win over Kildare in the football qualifiers.

A late Conor McManus point necessitated the extra 20 minutes and a Chris McGuinness goal in that period saw the Farney County emerge victorious on a 2-16 to 2-14 scoreline.

The win was Monaghan's first championship win at Croke Park since 1930. They will now face Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final back at GAA HQ on Saturday next.

For O'Rourke, there was much satisfaction in the way his troops ultimately claimed the spoils in a match played in inclement conditions.

"In the extra-time, I thought we got stronger and that’s when we really showed the hunger" - Malachy O'Rourke

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: "We delighted to have got the victory. We knew the history books were against us in that we hadn’t won a championship match at Croke Park in 84 years.

"At times we didn’t play as well as we would have liked but the one thing that shone through was the character and the hunger of the boys. They just kept going.

"We never let Kildare get too far in front of us. We kept going right to the finish to ensure the game went into extra time.

"In the extra-time, I thought we got stronger and that’s when we really showed the hunger. We blotted them out and kicked those crucial scores." 

O'Rourke is also pleased that the squad have matched last season's achievement in getting to an All-Ireland quarter-final.

"We got to the last-eight last year and we wanted to get back to there again," he added

"After the disappointment of losing an Ulster final, It’s not always easy to recover. It took a few days to get over it. I was always confident the boys would re-focus.

"We’ve put in a lot of work during the year. That hard showed on the pitch today."   

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