Melvin Gaels captain David McSharry experienced both agony and ecstasy last Sunday as he was forced from the game in the first half with an injury that could see him side-lined for months before he managed somehow to make it up the stairs to collect the Fenagh Cup.
McSharry, who had started brightly for the Gaels, dislocated his knee midway through the first half but despite watching nervously on the sidelines, the veteran never felt the result was in doubt – “I had visions of lifting the Cup but I didn’t think it would be like this but it doesn’t make a difference.
“The boys pulled it out on the day and we were never going to go home with the Cup today. I never seen such belief and focus in a team, we knew we were going to win it. That is what your panel of players is for, everybody gets injured.
“Everyone who came on contributed and that is where our strength in depth lies. Fair play to the boys who came on and pulled it out of the bag, I’m just delighted for Kinlough and everyone in Kinlough in general.”
Yet it was hard for David to avoid the implications of his knee injury despite the delight of victory as the Melvin Gaels captain admitted that it wasn’t easy to watch the game from the bench – “No it wasn’t, it was hard watched. I was gutted to be honest to come off, my knee just popped out.
“I think it might be medial ligaments or whatever gone. I think the adrenalin is keeping the pain at bay at the moment.“
As much as a bit of good fortune favoured the Gaels with their two goals, their captain felt that the new champions had worked hard for their luck – “To be honest, I just think we were by far the better team, we were more hungry on the day and I think that made the difference in the end.
“We got the goals at good times which we haven’t been doing. We got a bit of luck and we got the two goals today but overall, I think we more than deserved it. We were the more dominant team on the day. We probably didn’t play up to 100% on the day but neither team did with nerves, County Final and that.”
And the scale of Melvin Gaels achievement is what pleases David most – “To come from nowhere after being relegated and to prove to everyone in Leitrim but to prove to ourselves more than anything that we are the best team in Leitrim. We can justifiably say now that we are the best team in Leitrim.
“I came on ten years ago in a County Final for about ten minutes as a 17-18 year old, it went over my head a wee bit. It is a special occasion and I’ll definitely savour the occasion a lot more today.
“It is unfortunate what happened but it doesn’t matter, it is all about the team and the team has it today and I think that it most the important thing.”