“We were deserving winners” - Gallagher

“It’s been a while coming. I thought we were very deserving winners,” said Donegal assistant manager, Rory Gallagher, after watching his side defeat Cork to gain their first league points.

“It’s been a while coming. I thought we were very deserving winners,” said Donegal assistant manager, Rory Gallagher, after watching his side defeat Cork to gain their first league points.

“In the second half I thought there was only one team in it and but for poor finishing, we would have won easier.

“Cork were a bit shell shocked by the opening goal and we should have added a few more points but they were still in it at half-time. They took their chances much better than us,” said Rory, who felt that Cork were dominant for a period of the start of the second half.

He was happy also to get Donegal players back on the field including Michael Murphy, Colm McFadden, Christy Toye and Eamonn McGee.

“Those four are big men and it was important to have them. It mightn’t have went as well for Christy and Eamonn, but they got us over a spell; they got us a decent start in the game and they’ll come on. Eamonn came into the squad late last year and Christy has been out for a number of years. It will not be easy for them to get back to the level, but getting game time (is important).

“Michael and Colm are over their injuries and have had very little training done. They are not as fit as the others and we wanted them to get game time.

“We have to get a level where we are not struggling without them (Murphy and McFadden). They are two key men for us and have been for a number of years. You can see the confidence them have despite not having played much football and they have a good understanding together.

“At the end of the day they are two ball winners and they are two intelligent footballers as well. They are key to getting the other younger players up to that level but we are very grateful to have the two of them.

“Our defence was unbelievable. Donnacha O’Connor was their key man, myself and Jim watched them live a few weeks ago and Neil snuffed him out. Karl Lacey is Karl Lacey and the hunger he shows is unbelievable; his application even in training.

“Big Neil (Gallagher) was absolutely brilliant today. In fairness he has been good all year. We knew Cork were physical, but Neil did well in the air and he used the ball very well. He was very good at dropping off. He’s not a player with blinding pace, but he’s a brilliant fetcher and apart from that his distribution is excellent and he very rarely gives it away,” said Gallagher.