Donemana captain Richard Kee demands improvement

Donemana skipper Richard Kee
Donemana skipper Richard Kee

You would expect a captain of the team who had suffered arguably the biggest shock in Irish Cup history to be an angry man. Richard Kee doesn’t disappoint.

“I don’t know what has happened to us,” he fumed less than a week after the humiliating exit to Cork County.

“There are a lot of guys just expecting to play and some don’t seem to have taken it seriously.

“We have to buck up our ideas and fast. Everything has been lackadaisical so far and that will have to change quickly with two games coming up this weekend.”

Cork County were massive underdogs but the reality for Donemana on Saturday is that they were outplayed in all three disciplines.

Kee hints that complacency was a big factor.

“Our fielding was bad, we dropped four catches and with the exception of Andy (McBrine) and probably William McClintock we didn’t bat well enough,” Kee said.

“It’s hard to tell what happened. They were a better team than what I thought they would be, they had a couple of good bowlers and their fielding was excellent. “But we should still have beaten them. Our attitude wasn’t right and it has to change.”

Kee is right, Donemana have to get their act together and fast.

They begin the defence of the Danske Senior Cup against Championship side St Johnston followed by a trip to Eglinton on Sunday.

Kee’s men lost their opening league match to Bready and a second consecutive defeat would leave them with a mountain to climb in a 14-match league season.

There are mitigating factors with James McBrine having effectively brought down the curtain on his distinguished senior career.

Thomas Riddles is available for the weekend and will probably play with Donemana requiring more runs in a top order in which only Andy McBrine and new arrival Stephen Wallace have reached something approaching their potential.

Kee continued: “We’ve only played two full games but there are not enough people putting in performances. Richie McBrine and Junior have bowled well and Andy and young Wallace have been good with the bat, but no-one else has really been contributing, myself included.

“We’ve had some strong words and the turnout this week at practice has been good. Essentially this is the same team we’ve had the last two seasons.

“Yes, James is with the seconds but Richie has come in and bowled well. In those last seasons we’ve been successful and hopefully we can turn this bad start to the season around.”

Elsewhere on Saturday Brigade, losing cup finalists in the last two years, travel to Eglinton in what is the pick of the first round ties.

The other all-Premiership tie sees Ardmore host Bready at the Bleachgreen, the first of a double-header between the sides over two days. Bready will be without injury victim David Rankin. Coleraine, the cup favourites, will be short odds to beat Bonds Glen at Sandel Lodge.

Strabane and Fox Lodge both face trips to Championship opposition with the latter at Killclooney and a dangerous Drummond hosting Strabane.

There is a full round of Premiership fixtures on Sunday with Coleraine entertaining Fox Lodge and Brigade hosting Strabane in an intriguing game at Beechgrove.