O'Rourke delighted to end Croker hoodoo

August 03, 2014

Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke. INPHO
Malachy O'Rourke praised his side's determination and character after they beat Kildare after extra-time to secure a first championship win at Croke Park since 1930.

Chris McGuinness' goal in the first period of extra-time proved decisive as the beaten Ulster finalists squeezed past Kildare to set up a glamour All-Ireland SFC quarter-final against Dublin next Saturday.

"We are 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," the Monaghan manager told RTE Sport.

"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 at the fact that Monaghan have qualified for back-to-back All-Ireland quarter-finals.

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

"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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