Player-manager is a difficult position to juggle and while admitting that he wanted to start last Saturday’s Division One Final, Michael Moyles pointed instead to the contribution of Annaduff’s players, saying that his introduction and the turn-around in his team’s fortunes was just a coincidence!
Having started on the bench, Michael insisted Annaduff’s revival was not down to him alone - “I wanted to start, I’ve had a small bit of a back injury but I’ve been doing a good bit of training myself during the last week and I wanted to start but I couldn’t start because of the lads that were in possession of their positions.
“I wasn’t able to because they were playing so well. Unfortunately things weren’t clicking for us in the forward line so we made a decision on the sideline to change things and hold our half-forward line and steady things. It was the lads who picked it up, they got their purple patch and it was just a coincidence that I was there at the time.”
After getting off to the worst possible start that saw his side trail by six points after just 13 minutes, Michael agreed that the bad start was something Annaduff certainly did not want to happen - “We started off slowly and that was the one thing we didn’t want to do because Melvin Gaels would confess themselves that they are a second half team.
“We needed a good start and going six points down we just seemed to be stuck to the ground a bit. We steadied a bit after the first 15 minutes and scored 1-5 unanswered and that helped us at half-time but we knew they’re a classy outfit.
“They’ve proved it all year long, they are unbeaten in Leitrim and they were very unlucky last Sunday, I thought they should have won that game.”
Reflecting on the second half and the manner in which his side defended so resolutely Michael commented, “It looked like we were the man down most of the time, we were holding on but in all fairness to our six backs they played tremendously well. We worked a lot in the last two years on tackling properly and not giving away stupid fouls. With a person like Emlyn Mulligan in their team you can’t keep giving away frees.
“Melvin Gaels are a great running team and they come at you and if you’re lazy and start tugging jersies or start fouling, they are going to punish you.”
After contesting their third final in a row, Michael acknowledged defeat in last year’s final spurred them on to greater things this year - “We lost year feeling that we probably should have won the league and we felt hurt by that so we wanted to come back this year and win the championship and the league. Unfortunately we met a St Mary’s team that were better than us on the day.
“Today was 50/50, it was about those breaking balls and who got on them and thanks be to God we did because we needed this. It’s been seven years since we won a senior title, the club needed it.”