Donegal midfielder, Rory Kavanagh cut a content figure in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s win. He played no small part in his team’s victory and while he admitted that at times the game wasn’t pretty, Donegal did enough to grind out the win.
“We’re delighted,” he said. “We knew we were going to be up against it today. We hadn’t an overly good league campaign but listen, the championship is what we aimed for at the beginning of the year and thankfully we are off and running again.”
Asked about the physical battle over the 70 minutes, Kavanagh insisted his team were prepared for what Tyrone had in store. “Championship is championship and there is a difference between league and championship,” he pointed out.
“We knew Tyrone had shown great form in the league all year and we had to be at our best. It wasn’t pretty out there but we ground it out when the questions were asked and that’s important.”
The St. Eunan’s clubman said the changes for Donegal during the game also seemed to work to their advantage, particularly the introduction of Karl Lacey in the second half.
“Listen, he’s not the player of the year for nothing and you saw the reaction he got when he come on and it did give us a great lift. Ross (Wherity) came on and Martin McElhinney too. They really added to the team performance on the day.”
The goals, Kavanagh added, also came at a critical time in each half. “We weren’t playing overly well in the first half and Colm’s goal came and allowed us to get our noses in front. The second goal meant we got ahead once again and we drove it on from there.”