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INTERVIEW: A pleasing night all round

29 April 2015

Paul Thirlwell on the Cumberland Cup game against Netherhall

United coach Paul Thirlwell gave us his reaction to the Tuesday evening Cumberland Cup final victory over Netherhall.

“We enjoyed the night overall,” he said. “I don’t think we started as well as we would have liked and we didn’t pass the ball around as fast as we wanted to, but we had a lot of possession and we kept it well.

“Once we got going I felt we passed it round nicely, but the goal we conceded was disappointing from our point of view. It was just a long free kick which ended up in the back of our net. That aside, we controlled it for the vast majority of it but, having said that, they certainly gave us a game.”

“We took our chances and that was important,” he agreed. “We knew we’d create openings if we passed it about and we thought they would tire as the game went on. The pleasing thing from their point of view is they really stuck at it and there were no goals at all in the second half. 

“Full credit to them for that. We managed to get the goals we needed in the first half so it was job done from that point of view. We put a strong team out and I thought we showed a bit of class for the goals we scored. 

“We ended the game with five or six of the kids on the pitch and I thought they all did very well. It was a pleasing night all round and it’s good for the club to have won the cup.”

“For the first team lads who played it’s important for them to remind the manager they’re still here,” he told us. “Antony Sweeney was back and that was his first game for a long time. It’s good for players like him to get pitch time under their belts.

“Courtney Meppen-Walter hasn’t had much time of late either so we wanted to see them play a full game. It’s about getting out there, enjoying it and doing the right things. We said before kick off that if we did things properly then they shouldn’t be anywhere near a match for us, and that’s meant as no disrespect to them. 

“The first half of the semi-final against Carlisle City wasn’t good enough and we didn’t want a repeat of that. Netherhall had spells here and there, but the lads did what we asked them to do very well and very professionally.”

“There were a few smiles when we picked up the trophy and got the medals because that part of it is all a bit of fun,” he told us. “It’s nice to win any competition, whatever it may be, and this has been a good one for us over the years. 

“We always go out there to win it because you want to win everything you enter. It’s competitive and it’s good that the final is at Brunton Park, under the floodlights. Our young lads get the chance to experience that, in front of a decent crowd, and hopefully that will stand them in good stead for the future.”

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