Cavan defenders absolutely slated for this glorious Conor McManus goal 4 years ago

Cavan defenders absolutely slated for this glorious Conor McManus goal

The harshest of critics always see it as bad defending or poor attacking.

But was Conor McManus' piece of movement for the crucial Monaghan goal on Sunday not just a piece of magic from one of the country's top talents?

Advertisement

The Farney men stormed into the Ulster semi-final with one score to spare over Cavan thanks to their trusty talisman and his wonderful improvisation but some were having none of the defenders' attempts to stop him.

Owen Duffy came bursting forward and McManus ran towards him.

Suddenly, he was gone in the other direction and Padraig Faulkner was sold for a shortcut.

Conor Moynagh's last attempts were just as futile.

Advertisement

McManus got one sniff and he absolutely buried his chance and buried the game with just over 10 minutes to go.

The movement, the power, the finish were all as top class as you'd expect.

However, on The GAA Hour, Cian Ward wasn't having any of it.

Advertisement

He was despairing at the Cavan defneders.

"It's such bad defensive play, it's just unbelievable," the Meath man said.

"How you could take a risk to try and put pressure on a Conor McManus shot - which he's going to get off anyway - to let him in behind you for a goal is just absolute madness.

"It's crazy. It's kamikaze stuff.

"Good defensive players spot the danger. The better defenders spot the danger quickest and they make the right decision. If it's a two-on-one, they back off and they concede the point. They make the forward's mind up for him by letting him kick the score rather than lunging out at him and he just slips by and gets in for a goal and you're just like, 'what are you doing there?'"

Advertisement

It was the foolishness more than anything that ground Ward's gears because he's been frustrated himself by defenders who make the right choices.

Cavan did not make the right choices in this play.

"This was another scenario where it's a decision to be made by the defender. I'm marking Conor McManus: Conor McManus, for this entire game, cannot get inside me," he explained.

"I've played against loads of defenders and the hardest lads to do real damage against are the ones who let you kick points. They let you kick two or three points and they just give you no option to get past them.

"They maybe stand off you and think, 'there's no point in getting too tight to this lad because if I get too tight, he's got goal on his mind. So I'll stand a yard off him and if he's able to kick points under pressure from difficult angles, then fair enough, he's going to score anyway because he's the best forward on the team.'

"That was a bad decision by the Cavan corner back yesterday but I wouldn't entirely blame him for the goal because Conor Moynagh's attempt as the last defender was embarrassing. Listen, I can't tackle but I would be embarrassed if that was me.

"In such a big, big game, the pivotal moment, you're winning the match, you're one of the leaders of your team, you're centre of the defence, I just cannot believed that he did what he did."

Not everyone liked Ward's dismissal of Conor McManus' genius. Listen to the full debate below from 45:00 or subscribe here on iTunes.

Advertisement