BY CHRIS MCNULTY
ODHRÁN MacNiallais spent last year largely on the outside looking in, but having won a place in Donegal’s first XV the Gaoth Dobhair man is aiming to stay there.
A brief appearance in Ballybofey against Dublin last year, coming on at half-time before being withdrawn again in the closing minutes, had been the sum total of his League game time up until Sunday.
In O’Moore Park, MacNiallais palmed home a goal in the twelfth minute and added another point later in the game.
“Last year was a massive benefit to me, even just training with these boys,” 21-year old MacNiallais said.
“I feel that I improved physically and mentally. I wouldn’t have been well known for the hard work or that sort of craic, but last year was a massive help in getting me to where I am.
“I was delighted to get my first start in the league. It was good to get my name on the scoreboard as well. It was important to get off to a good start, especially away from home.
“I want to build now and get as many games as I can.
“It’s about building every night at training. We’re looking to improve each week and with every game. We’ve had a good start to the season in terms of training and getting that hard work in.
“Hopefully we can carry that bit of momentum on to Galway next weekend.”
Donegal led by four points at the break, but really rammed home their authority on things in the second half to score a massive 13-point win.
MacNiallais said: “It was tough work there in the first half. We tried to limit them to as little as possible there in that fist half. It was tough work against that breeze. But it set us up to kick on after half time.
“The breeze stood with us then and it helped us notch on a good tally on the scoreboard. Plenty of fellas were chipping in with scores, which was good to see.”