One of the happiest men in Ballybofey yesterday was Paddy McGrath, the Donegal captain in the eleven point win over Queen’s University.
This time last year, the tigerish corner back was in rehab following career saving groin surgery and did not feature in either the Dr McKenna Cup or the Allianz League.
“It is an honour to captain your county at any level whether it is now or in the middle of September,” said Paddy, who is fighting fit again and looking forward to the season ahead.
“It was hard this time last year watching from the sideline and later from the dugout,” added Paddy, who had his first outing last year against Derry, in the championship in Celtic Park.
“But the injury has cleared up and I’m fully fit again and I’m back from the word go this year. I’m really enjoying my football and really looking forward to the season ahead.”
Reflecting on the 2-16 to 1-8 victory the Donegal skipper was happy that Donegal had found the winning formula following last weekend’s first round defeat at the hands of Derry in Owenbeg.
“It was a good a result in very difficult conditions. The pitch was well dug up there towards the end. It was not easy and there was a lot of slipping and sliding and a lot of fumbling and missed placed passes. But that is to be expected this time of the year with most of the players just getting back into action.
“Despite the conditions and the hard going I thought there were a number of very good performances and we kicked a number of very good scores, said McGrath.
“Christy Toye and Odhran MacNiallais were brilliant today and a number of the younger players also got a chance to prove themselves which is also a positive.
“Queen’s are not a bad side. They have a number of county players and are in training for Sigerson so they would have a good level of fitness for this time of the year.
“I know we ran out comfortable winners but they were competitive and gave us a good run for our money for a time in the first half and again for a period in the second half.”
Donegal’s victory over the Students and Fermanagh’s win over Derry, has opened up Group B and has set up for Donegal to qualify for the last four in the competition.
“Fermanagh on Wednesday night is another big game and is another good test for us. We will do our recovery tomorrow and then turn our attention to Wednesday night and Fermanagh,” said the Ardara defender.