Derry City: Keeper Doherty visited McBride's grave before cup final triumph

Derry City captain Gerard Doherty holds the EA Sports Cup aloft after his team's victory at the Brandywell
Gerard Doherty says Derry City were under "massive" pressure to win Sunday's EA Sports Cup Final

Derry City goalkeeper Gerard Doherty has revealed he visited the grave of late team-mate Ryan McBride a few hours before Sunday's EA Sports Cup Final triumph over Cobh Ramblers.

Manager Kenny Shiels dedicated the club's first trophy since 2012 to the memory of their late captain.

Doherty added that McBride and late former striker Mark Farren were both very much in the players' thoughts.

"I had a wee visit to the graveyard this morning," said the 37-year-old.

"I said a wee word and thankfully that came true. It's still something that's always in the back of your mind.

"It's never going to leave us. That one is for both of them."

Doherty produces heroic display

Doherty produced another heroic display for the Candystripes in Sunday's decider as his late penalty save maintained Derry's 3-1 lead and prevented a nervous finish for Shiels' side.

The Derryman has made a number of penalty saves this season - including a vital stop in the recent FAI Cup victory over St Patrick's Athletic.

"I don't know what it is. You don't save one for a couple of years and then you save two or three or four in a season," added Doherty.

"I'm just glad I saved that one because the pressure would have been on for the last five or 10 minutes. It calmed it down a wee bit."

Doherty acknowledged that the Candystripes went into Sunday's decider under some pressure after poor league form.

Despite that, Derry were strong favourites and defeat against their First Division opponents would have been a huge blow for the club.

"The nerves were there. It sort of hits you that you are back in a cup final for Derry City and especially at home. It was massive," continued Doherty.

"We tried to play it down but to be honest you only had to look at the turnout."

Aaron McEneff came close to scoring twice before he found the net from the spot
Aaron McEneff came close to scoring twice before he found the net from the spot

McEneff 'loved' Brandywell atmosphere

Midfielder Aaron McEneff, who hit Derry's third goal from the penalty spot, said the huge final crowd had generated a "completely different feeling" at the Brandywell.

"The atmosphere with the full house....if we could get that feeling every week, it would be unbelievable. I would love it." said McEneff.

"We made hard work of it at times but it's amazing winning a final here in your home town.

"It's something I've been looking to do since I came here. Something I've dreamed of since I was a young boy."

McEneff is hoping for another big home attendance at Wednesday's probably even more important FAI Cup quarter-final against Bohemians.

The FAI Cup looks likely to be Derry's last chance of securing a European spot with the winner of the last-eight tie securing a home semi-final against last season's double winners Cork City.

"We'll be preparing for it and we'll be ready for it. We've got a home draw in the semis if we get through.

"It's a massive game especially after them beating us a couple of weeks ago."