Odhran MacNaillais turned in a man of the match performance against Antrim

Odhran MacNaillais turned in a man of the match performance against Antrim
Odhran MacNiallais, not named in the starting team, kicked four points and picked up the man of the match award afterwards.

Odhran MacNiallais, not named in the starting team, kicked four points and picked up the man of the match award afterwards.

So it is no great surprise that he was a very proud Gaoth Dobhair standing on St man Tiernach’s Park afterward sand was looking forward to an Ulster final showdown with either Monaghan or Armagh.

“I only found out last night that I was playing. Jim came and told me that Rory (Kavanagh) was injured and that I was in and starting. Obviously I was delighted to get the chance because competition for places in the team is so keen,” said Odhran.

“I suppose the bonus is that everything went well for me. I kicked four points and possibly should have kicked five. I missed a great chance there at the end.

“Midfield is not a position that I have played all that much but I am enjoying it since Jim gave me the chance. I think I played once there last year for the club, in the last league game of the season and I have played there once this year for the club.

“I had a few outings in the league in the position and they went well enough for me and I played the first half in midfield the last day against Derry and I felt it went well for me too.

“Naturally, I was disappointed but it was a case of putting the head down and waiting for the chance. But it is up to Jim and it is up to him to put out the strongest team and if he feels the place for me is on the bench. I am happy to do that as long as I am part of the team and get a run at some stage.

“The way the modern game is going it is going to take more than 15 players on any given day.

“But overall it was great to get over the line. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. It was a tough first half and it was level at half-time. We felt it was always going to be hard work and that is the way it turned out.

“We did not play the game at our normal pace in the first half and after a good start allowed them back into it and we went in at half-time level.

“The heads were down at half-time, but Jim got us in and lifted us again. He is a great man to motivate a team and he told us what we were capable of and go out in the second half and up the pace and take the game to Antrim.

“And that is how it worked out; we kicked a couple of points and Leo scored the goal, something like which we did against Derry and thankfully we got the win and are now looking forward to an Ulster final against either Monaghan or Armagh”