Ryan McBride tragedy cost Derry City the title, says veteran Drogs manager Pete Mahon

Drogheda United manager Pete Mahon believes Derry City would've challenged for the title had the club not been hit by tragedy.
Drogheda United manager Pete Mahon believes Derry City would've challenged for the title had the club not been hit by tragedy.

DROGHEDA UNITED boss, Pete Mahon believes the impact of Derry City skipper, Ryan McBride’s death ended the club’s chances of challenging for the league title.

The Candy Stripes were Mahon’s tip for the title when the pre-season predictions were rolled out and the Dubliner reckons they would have maintained their title assault had the club not been hit with the devastating and untimely passing of McBride.

Unfortunately they suffered a terrible tragedy which I think did effect the players and I still think they’re effected by it.

Pete Mahon

Brandywell native, McBride’s final game for his hometown club was against Drogheda at Maginn Park back in March when City defeated the Co. Louth men 4-0 to extend the perfect start to the season to five straight victories.

But the club was shaken to its core when the news of his sudden death emerged and City embarked on a six game winless run when they eventually resumed their campaign.

Mahon, whose Drogheda side became the first of three clubs to be relegated after last week’s 2-1 defeat to Derry, is in no doubt the ‘terrible tragedy’ prevented Kenny Shiels’ troops from pushing Cork City all the way.

Last Friday’s win left City in a strong position for qualifying for the Europa League as they moved a point behind third placed Shamrock Rovers. And Mahon predicts City will be a major threat in the 2018 title race.

“They’re an excellent team and they were my tip to win the league this year,” said Mahon. “Unfortunately they suffered a terrible tragedy which I think did effect the players and I still think they’re effected by it.

“But they have a fantastic group of players and a very good manager, so I expect to see them right up there next year again.”