Waide walks tall for Naomh Conaill

Happy Naomh Conaill supporters at the county senior final on Sunday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDP1910 County Final TG31
Naomh Conaill captain Leo McLoone may have got man of the match, but the outstanding Eoin Waide was not far behind.

Naomh Conaill captain Leo McLoone may have got man of the match, but the outstanding Eoin Waide was not far behind.

The county Antrim native, who was at college with Trillick’s Mattie Donnelly, weighed in with a precious point in the first half.

But more importantly, he walked tall in the opening half when St Eunan’s looked to be pulling clear in the second quarter.

Waide was in the thick of the action, throughout, blocking and tackling and effectively linking between defence and attack.

Ecstatic fans mobbed Waide in the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s emotional victory.

“It is just so hard to put into words but you can just see what it means to our supporters.

“We really held it very well towards the end when we went a man down and I thought a few decisions went against us.

“But we just kept it going and Leo was brilliant for us.

“Leo is always brilliant for us and that is why he is the captain,” he said.

Eoin admitted that he “could not believe it” how they came back after the double blow of losing Eoghan McGettigan before he got started and Leo McLoone’s disallowed goal.

“We were in an Ulster final against Crossmaglen and could have beaten them but we did not beat them and that is just how football goes but we certainly did it today.

“St Eunan’s have been great champions and that is why it is a great achievement for us to get through today.

“It was very tense in those final moments but we kept out cool and thankfully it worked out for us.

“It is great to be back in the Ulster Club Championship and hopefully go a step further in Ulster.

“We have a fair bit of experience of winning and losing finals and it really stood to us.

“A few refereeing decisions went against us but really lifted it and turned it all around and that was just brilliant”.

“This team just does not know when it is beaten and that spirit showed clearly out there today.

Eoin’s opponents from Trillick are not totally unfamiliar to the Naomh Conaill star.

He said he did not know and awful lot about Trillick but he had been at college (UUJ) with Tyrone talismen Mattie and Richie Donnelly.

“I was friendly with them and I can’t wait for the Ulster club to take place”.