The former Armagh All-Ireland winner also hailed the display of Monaghan’s Daniel McKenna, who kicked three late points in their dramatic final win over Waterford IT at Jordanstown on Saturday.
“He is just a class act and he showed there in the second half, when we needed a few scores to pull away,” said the DKIT manager.
“Going into this weekend, I’m not sure if we were fancied but the boys did a lot of work in a short space of time.
“This is my fifth year here and when I came in, it was tough to get people to play.
“Now they’re coming in droves. It’s a massive thing to win this.”
DKIT had only once before appeared in a Trench Cup final, in 1997. They led from start to finish on Saturday, Donal Meegan’s scoring a goal after four minutes.
Declan Flaherty kicked three points from play for the winners in the opening half, with Gerard McSorley also on target twice as DKIT took advantage of a strong wind early on.
Waterford IT stayed in touch, with Nigel Murphy blasting a ball into the roof of the net after 10 minutes.
Niall Harney and Robbie Quigley scored points for WIT as they closed the gap to 1-8 to 1-4 at the interval.
Points from Robbie Quigley, Conor Murray, and Simon Donohue helped WIT close to 1-10 to 1-8 after 53 minutes.
The game was there to be won in the last 10 minutes and McKenna came good, with two long-range points and a free.
Sub Emmet Kirk also drilled over a 45, seconds after coming on, to secure a merited win for the Louth outfit.
D McKenna 0-5 (1f), D Meegan 1-1 (f), D Flaherty 0-4, G McSorley 0-3, E Kirk 0-1 (‘ 45’).
- N Murphy 1-1 (f), N Harney, C Farrell, R Quigley, S Ryan, P Curtis, S Murray, S Donohue 0-1 each.
J O’Donoghue (Cavan); J Smith (Meath), J Murphy (Monaghan), C Lenehan (Louth); C Meegan (Monaghan), K Duffy (Monaghan), C Bellew (Louth); O Coyle (Monaghan), S McElroy (Monaghan); D Meegan (Monaghan), G McSorley (Louth), D Maguire (Louth); R Quigley (Louth), D Flaherty (Kildare), D McKenna (Monaghan).
C Doherty (Louth) for Quigley (HT), C McElwaine (Monaghan) for Bellew (49), R McGuigan (Monaghan) for Maguire (50), T McEneaney (Louth) for Meegan (56), E Kirk (Louth) for Flaherty (60), J O’Donoghue (Louth) for McSorley.
C Sheedy (Offaly); A Branigan (Tipperary), P Sexton (Clare), S Donohoe (Wexford); D Hassett (Westmeath), J Snell (Wicklow), P Curtis (Wexford); J O’Connor (Offaly), C Guiry (Waterford); C Farrell (Offaly), N Harney (Wexford), C Murray (Waterford); S Ryan (Waterford), L Boidu (Westmeath), N Murphy (Laois).
P White (Waterford) for Branagan (BC, 7), R McKenzie (Mayo) for Hassett (HT), D Lordan (Cork) for Guiry (48), C Smith (Cavan) for Farrell (48), D Smithers (Carlow) for Ryan (55).
Ciaran Branagan (Down).