‘That was one for the two boys’ – Cannon

Donegal Masters manager Mark Cannon said his team were pushed on during Saturday’s Shield Final against Galway by Charlie Gallagher and Martin Gillespie, who both sadly passed away earlier this year.
Gallagher and Gillespie were key figures when Donegal got their Masters team up-and-running again, and that wasn’t lost on the team after the match, with team captain Sean McDaid paying a lovely tribute to the pair in his speech, and Cannon echoed his sentiments.
“I’m sure Charlie and Martin would have loved to have been here today and involved in something like that.
“They were such true gaelic men and big supporters of the Masters for so many years.
“I know the two boys will be up there chatting and looking down on what went on today and they will be fairly proud of what they saw on the pitch and the heart Donegal showed in the last 15 minutes.
“That was one for the two boys there today. We had a minute’s silence before the game and Sean (McDaid) spoke about them in his speech.
“They were that extra wee push the boys needed.”
Saturday’s game was tough, attritional football and Donegal had to dig deep to grind out the victory.
“It’s an All-Ireland Final and nobody is going to give up on it easy.
“We knew they only conceded six points against Roscommon in their semi-final so we knew they would set up defensively.
“In the first half, we made a lot of mistakes that we wouldn’t normally make.
“There were a lot of handling errors when we were inside the ’21’. Things just didn’t really fire for us.
“We only really got on top in the last 15 minutes.”
The big moment arrived in the 60th minute when Donegal hit the net and they were able to see it out when they got in front.
“When you get Paddy McNulty inside the ’21’ there’s only one thing on his mind, and we told him if he got in to have a go.
“He had two big runs down the middle in the first half and they knew what was coming and they took him to the ground.
“That time at the end he was left one-on-one and he got his shot away. I know it took a deflection but with the power it was hit at, it was going into the net regardless.”
Donegal may have missed out on the main competition this year, but there was still serious effort and commitment from the squad and they deserved their victory.
“We’re at this since the middle of March and we played ten games.
“Every Wednesday night some of these boys are driving an hour and a half, nearly two hours to training and it’s a lot of commitment when you are still playing club football, and you’re training on a Tuesday and Thursday night.
“But that’s the reward and that’s two All-Ireland Shield medals in-a-row.
“The boys are already talking about next year and what we’re going to do, and we will get this man in, and that boy in.
“Victory brings on publicity and new players and it keeps people involved. I can’t ask any more of any of the boys.”

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