Mohill selector Pete McWade and manager Padraic Davis pictured at a training session.
When you've won Championships and League titles, it is quite something to state that a one point semi-final win is the biggest of your career. But that is exactly the sentiments of a relieved Padraic Davis last Saturday evening.
The Mohill manager had seen his team come through a tense, gruelling encounter by a single point, 1-11 to 1-10, and the former Longford star was in no doubt about the importance of the win over St. Mary’s Kiltoghert.
“It was a dogfight surely,” said Padraic of Saturday's game, “I’ve just said it to them in the dressing room there that in my three years, that is our biggest win, including County Finals, including League Finals, that is the biggest win and the most pleasing from my point of view.”
Davis was thrilled with the mental resolve demonstrated under trying circumstances - “If you were a neutral at that game, 20 minutes to go, 15, 10, 5, you’d have said the team in white was going to win.
“We dug in and we got a couple of points when it really mattered so to say it is pleasing would be an understatement, I’m absolutely delighted for them and it is great to be back in a county final again.”
And the Mohill man was completely unsurprised by the strength of the St. Mary’s challenge - “I seen it coming to be honest with you, I studied their form all year, I looked at the year they are after having. They finished fourth in the League, won their group, Manorhamilton who are going into their third County Final in a row were unable to beat them, they beat Ballinamore and they beat Aughawillan so all the signs were there.
“I knew this was exactly what was going to happen and I told the lads they would bring an energy to the table and it would go right to the wire and that is what happened. So we were mentally prepared for it, this came as no shock.
“The squad knew this was coming because the form was there and you have to give them great credit. I suppose St. Mary’s were shaky at the start of the year in a couple of League matches but they deserve great credit in defeat.”
Naturally, Padraic was very happy with how his own team performed and singled out the exceptional Caillin Canning for special mention - “It was impressive and some of our lads had some very good games. Caillin Canning had one of the best club displays I have ever seen, he just relentlessly took the ball out when we were struggling and I thought he was simply outstanding.
“I think the most pleasing thing for this Mohill bunch is that over the last three years, all these games they have been losing by a point, they are now winning them by a point and that has been the biggest change and they deserve huge credit for that.
“I said it to them that that is the biggest challenge, it is a two point turnaround in games when it mattered. You’ve lost so many games by a point and the challenge was to turn them into one point victories and again today, when it mattered, they’ve come and they’ve done that.”
As for the Final, Padraic is looking forward to another meeting with Glencar/Manor - “We’re very happy with that, it is very pleasing and we’re looking forward with so much fire to the County Final.
“They were very impressive, Manorhamilton were very good and believe me, it is going to be a battle, it will go to the wire. I said after we played them in the League, I felt they were the best team we had played this year.
“Obviously I was hugely impressed by Ballinamore and that hasn’t worked out for them. The Final will go down to the wire, there will be nothing in it and hopefully we come out on the right side of it.”