Louth defender Dessie Finnegan happy with a change in scenary

Despite some 'scrappy' play in the second half, Louth defender Dessie Finnegan was delighted to get past Wicklow and book another O'Byrne Cup semi-final place.

Despite some 'scrappy' play in the second half, Louth defender Dessie Finnegan was delighted to get past Wicklow and book another O'Byrne Cup semi-final place.

The St Patrick's man acknowledged that his team knew they were going to be in for a tough time as they faced a county team instead of a college team.

"It was a different story than last week. You know the difference in a county team and a college team. That's no disrespect to Athlone IT, but you could see the difference there today. They kept working the whole way through.

"I'm pleased enough with our performance. We were a bit sloppy towards the end. We let them come at us as we eased off slightly. Other than that, it was pleasing."

In the first half, Finnegan did not have much to do as it was Louth's forward line who did most of the work, with Derek Maguire in particular scoring two goals.

"We are pleased enough all round, a score of 2-13 at this time of the year is something to be happy with.

"Their goalkeeper pulled off some great saves, a penalty save as well. We had a lot of chances but these things happen. It goes with you some days, some days it doesn't.

"Derek's (Maguire) showed up very well here today. He's going to give a lot of people problems. That's what we want. That's the way we want to train also, where people will push everyone hard for places."

Finnegan admitted that Louth expected a torrid time from Wicklow in the second half, something he thinks they coped well with.

"We were expecting a response from them and they fairly kept at it. We were expecting maybe a ten or 15 minute burst but they kept at it for 20 to 25 minutes and we hung on.

"It's hard to know what to expect from a team this time of the year. It is difficult enough with the conditions."

Although the defending was not perfect at times, Finnegan thinks that Louth's new look defence boded well. He himself has now switched to centre half with Aaron Hoey dropping to centre back and Gerard Hoey has come in at full back, changes made after John O'Brien and Mick Fanning departed for Australia.

"I was changed back into full back in the second half, but I am enjoying my time as a centre half back. It's a bit of a change in scenery for me out the field a bit. I love playing football, everyone does and nobody likes to sit on the bench but you have to keep working and hold onto your place."