Captain Laverty overwhelmed with back-to-back titles


Captain Laverty overwhelmed with back-to-back titles
Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Donegal U-21 captain Dylan Lafferty lifted the Andrew O’Neill Cup for the second time in Healy Park on Saturday afternoon.

The Setanta netminder admitted afterwards that he found it overwhelming to win back-to-back All-Ireland titles.

“We won it last year and we thought we were punching above our weight but to win it for a second year in-a-row and the way we have done it, is brilliant,” he said.

“We played Tyrone, Louth and Fermanagh today and there wasn’t an easy game. They were all tough and we had to work really hard especially, against Tyrone and Louth.

“Fair play to Tom (Hennessy, the manager) he had the tactics spot on for every game. It didn’t happen for us in the first half of this game today.

“But we regrouped at half-time and it took from there in the second half.

“We didn’t know what to expect from Fermanagh and I suppose given that we had won it last year the pressure was on to win it a second time.

“I think boys were thinking of this and I conceded a very soft goal which made it a little harder for ourselves.

“But we recovered from the goal and still went in a point up at half-time after playing poorly in the first half.”

Sam Doherty scored the first of the Donegal’s goals early in the second half and Paul Nelson scored the second before Doherty clinched it with the third.

“We regrouped and I think we showed what we can do in the second half.

“Sam Doherty is doing it all year for us, against Louth in the semi-final we were five down at one stage and he got the goal that pulled it back to two points.

“Sam and Paul Nelson are two unbelievable hurlers.”

Seven of the team that defeated Tyrone in last year's final all played again in Saturday’s decider.

“The lads that played in last year’s all played well. The new lads that came in, too, did will; there are some fine hurlers in Donegal.

“We are known as one of the weaker counties but we don’t see it like that. We are now playing Kerry in the All-Ireland U-21 B championship.

“But we don’t fear them. They will be the hot favourites but we don’t care; we will go out and play our best and we’ll see what happens.

“It is going to be a big test. Kerry are a Liam McCarthy team at senior level but we have nothing to lose. Nobody expects us to win, it is a matter of going out and playing the best we can and see how it goes.”