Fergal O’Donnell says historic win will bring belief

“It’s a long journey down, but it’ll be a lot shorter going home,” quipped a delighted Fergal O’Donnell.

The Roscommon joint-manager struggled to contain his joy after the county’s first competitive win over the Kingdom in 15 years and a historic first league victory on Kerry soil.

“We’re going to struggle at this level, but just to pick up something here is amazing. We were unlucky last week so maybe we got a bit of luck this week,” he said.

“The biggest thing is that we were competitive and got a bit of belief.

“We’ve put in a lot of work so we felt we had to get something in the first two games because we probably have a bit more work done fitness-wise than some of the other teams.

“For a team that is developing to beat Kerry… training is going to be a lot easier on Tuesday.”

Pleasing too was the manner in which they stood tall during the eight second-half minutes played.

“You would be watching it nervously [those final minutes]. In fairness, I thought the likes of Niall Daly drove on really well at the end.

“Enda Smith struggled in the air, but he did great things on the ground. I just thought the effort of Ronan Stack, David Murray, fellas that don’t always get the recognition, were great.

“Neil Collins did a good job on Tommy Walsh. Sean Purcell was a bit of experience too. Under-rated outside Roscommon, but inside one of the best players.”

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, meanwhile, said there would be no panic buttons hit.

“We don’t tend to do things the easy way (in the league). But we have been down this road before.

“The first year, we lost four games and three games the second year.

“We know what we have to do. We have to get points on the board quickly and once we get a few wins, things will take off. We are not going to panic.” Panic they did, however, during the closing stages of this contest; a number of unforced errors committed as they sought to salvage at least a point from the game.

“Maybe lads didn’t realise how much time was left, didn’t realise how much injury time was going to be there. We were forcing it a small bit.

“We didn’t move the ball well. Roscommon worked very hard and they really pressed up high and hard. They made it difficult for us and you have to give them credit for that.”


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