Ethan O’Donnell makes his mark from the bench

Naomh Conaill's Eunan Doherty in possession against St. Euan's during the county senior final on Sunday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDP1910 County Final TG21
In years to come when his memory is crinkled and he is old and grey and full of sleep, 18 year-old Ethan O’Donnell will remember yesterday with pride.

In years to come when his memory is crinkled and he is old and grey and full of sleep, 18 year-old Ethan O’Donnell will remember yesterday with pride.

For the youth who moves like a gazelle came on in the final ten minutes and played a key role in Naomh Conaill’s final two points.

Like Wes Hoolahan for the Republic of Ireland, his ability to hold possession and draw tackles was absolutely vital in those final frantic moments as both sides fought for victory.

In the end Glenties, and Ethan Og told the Democrat that it was the happiest day of his life.

“I am just over the moon and it is just so hard to put it into words.

“I am only 18 and I have a county medal in only my second year playing senior.

“”This is extra sweet for me as we lost the minor final to St Eunan’s just a few weeks ago”, he said.

But his composure under pressure certainly belied his tender years as team boss Martin Regan got maximum use of his bench in the crucial final moments.

“The whole parish is here and it is just brilliant,” said the county minor.

“The game was starting to open up when I came and that is where my game is strongest and I like to run at defenders.

“It gave me the freedom to move about but fair play to the boys for trusting an 18-year-old to come on at such a vital stage of the match”, he admitted.

“This is just phenomenal,” said O’Donnell.

“I thought Eoghan’s sending off a bit harsh and there was an awful lot of stuff going on.

“And then we did not get the goal but once we got that point we knew.

“In the stand we knew and we had the belief to just go on and take the title.

“And we are just so delighted to get over the line”.

When asked for a turning point in match he said there “were just so many”.

“I think the sideline ball after Eoghan got the red card was absolutely vital.

“We managed to turn over the ball and we ended up getting a point and that was just so vital.

“That was the turning point I suppose but every man just dug deep even though we were a man down.

“The game had opened up by the time I got on so it was just a matter of finding space and using it properly”.

And nobody did it better than the highly talented teenager called Ethan O’Donnell.