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Darach O’Connor: Down from the hill and a new Donegal hero

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BY CHRIS MCNULTY

AT THE last three Ulster finals, Darach O’Connor has watched from The Hill at St Tiernach’s Park.

This year, the 18-year-old Buncrana lad is set to be the man they’re looking at from The Hill. Having just finished his Leaving Certificate on Thursday, O’Connor starred yesterday, scoring 1-2, as Donegal defeated Antrim to reach the Ulster final.

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“Always up where those boys are dancing,” O’Connor said, pointing to the cluster of bodies toasting Donegal’s win, after being asked where he’s viewed Donegal’s Ulster final exploits.

“I’ve always been there, supporting the lads. To get the chance to play in an Ulster final is a dream come true. Hopefully we can now get an Ulster out of this.”

The diminutive attacker netted an exceptional goal, riffling to the net from long-range in the 48th minute. It was he who started and finished the move.

He said: “When I got the ball in the middle of the field all I had on my mind was the goal

“It’s been a good week for me. I finished the Leaving on Thursday and it’s been good to get back training with the boys. This is the best way to end the week.”

Scoil Muire, Buncrana pupil O’Connor has been given his chance and taken it, but the schedule has been tight at times, given his academic commitments.

He said: “It was tough earlier in the year. Jim and the backroom team have been very good. After the Derry game I had two training sessions and was off then until Thursday. Thankfully I kept myself in good shape.

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“It’s brilliant to get the chance and you trust yourself to flourish within the gameplan. I’m delighted that Jim has given me the opportunity and we just have to keep working now for no matter who we are playing against in four weeks.”

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