A vic­tory for ev­ery­one in tight-knit com­mu­nity

Bray People - - SPORT -

The vic­to­ri­ous Donard-The Glen foot­ballers af­ter their mighty vic­tory over Coolkenno in Aughrim on Sun­day.

DONARD-THE GLEN man­ager Mickey Daly paid mas­sive tributes to Alan Daly, Conor Healy and Coolkenno when he man­aged to gather his thoughts af­ter the erup­tion fol­low­ing the fi­nal whis­tle in the Darcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship fi­nal in Aughrim on Sun­day.

‘We’re de­lighted. It hasn’t sunk in yet. So proud of the boys. It wasn’t the pret­ti­est match ever and we knew that there wouldn’t be much in it. I felt com­ing into it that it would be a low scor­ing match. I thought both teams were set up very well de­fen­sively. I knew Alan (Daly) wasn’t start­ing for us, ei­ther. We strug­gled to get a cou­ple of scores, but the heart and the de­sire, it could have went ei­ther way.

‘It was a strange one (the wind). Up to now the wind had been blow­ing into the other end, the town.

‘This week­end, we looked at the Mi­nor match and the wind had changed di­rec­tion, but wind doesn’t win you matches, it will of­ten lose them for you al­right.

‘We’ve mas­sive, mas­sive time for Coolkenno. I was talk­ing to a few of the lads af­ter it. Just to­day was our day, we were for­tu­nate. They’re a great bunch of lads.

‘We didn’t know be­fore the match how long Alan would play for. We’ve been try­ing for two weeks to get him right but all the ad­vice was that he wasn’t go­ing to be right. We were told that he could go in and stand there. It wasn’t work­ing our way at half­time and we sort of said to him, ‘Alan, this is your chance’. He just went in and he was un­be­liev­able. He’s born for th­ese things. He just loves to put on a show. He’s 100 per cent a show­man.

‘But in say­ing that, he’s also the most com­mit­ted man. He’s al­ways the first at train­ing ev­ery night.

‘He’s down there prac­tic­ing his kicks, do­ing the gym, do­ing his diet, there’s no man who’s more com­mit­ted.

‘He doesn’t just show up and do it. He re­ally works hard,’ he said.

Alan Daly was joined in the cap­taincy role by Conor Healy who Mickey says was vi­tal in Donard-The Glen’s vic­tory on the day.

‘Ab­so­lutely (vi­tal). Surg­ing runs, he stayed back and de­fended. Conor has a lot of ex­pe­ri­ence; he’s been in the county squad a few years.

‘This is by far his best year with our club. He grew into the cap­taincy role. When you want a big man on a big day, he cer­tainly stood up,’ he said.

With Alan Daly out of ac­tion for the first half, Mickey Daly called on the one and only Brian Len­non to play his part. And no bet­ter man to an­swer that call.

‘He’s been huge. He’s a leg­end. He was only 18 or 19 in 2000 and he was wing for­ward that day too. And he scored a goal that day. And he’s never been away. Other lads have been away. I was away in Aus­tralia but Brian has been here con­stantly. He wanted a break this year and I wouldn’t give it to him. He fought against us all year. We begged him and I think he’s happy he came back now,’ laughed Mickey Daly.

The switch of Eoin Kelly on to Ea­monn Ros­siter was deemed to be a very im­por­tant one by the Donard-The Glen boss.

‘I thought Ea­monn Ros­siter was start­ing to cause us a lot of prob­lems. We had picked Eoin Kelly to kind of pick up ‘Ducky’ (Conor Walker) in there but Ros­siter was start­ing to dic­tate the game. We sent Alan (Tutty) in and asked Eoin to pick up Ros­siter and I think that maybe could have helped us.

‘It could have gone any­way. We were a point up and the next minute we were a point down. I thought the points weren’t easy to come by, how are we go­ing to find a score or two here. They kept at it. It means so much to the whole club. They de­serve it, all of them, the lotto sell­ers, the com­mit­tee mem­bers, this is for them,’ he said.

Danny Brana­gan, Ash­ling Mur­ray and Teasie Brana­gan with a signed Donard-The Glen flag.

Pure de­light for Donard-the Glen fans af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle.

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