DONEGAL V MEATH QUALIFIER REACTION

Great to be back to winning ways - Donegal's Paddy McGrath

Ardara man again superb in Navan

Peter Campbell

Reporter:

Peter Campbell

Great to be back to winning ways - Donegal's Paddy McGrath

Paddy McGrath shows his delight after game in Navan on Saturday

Donegal corner-back, Paddy McGrath, who covered every blade of grass on Pairc Tailteann in Navan on Saturday night, was just happy to get another win.
"Getting into winning ways is definitely what we wanted. And that's two good results after a bad defeat. We will go and try and build on that. It will be a nice two weeks to prepare for the next game, so whoever we get. We have two weeks to prepare and get the legs right for that game," said McGrath in the hallway outside the Donegal dressing room in Navan.
The Ardara man, who has been one of the most consistent performers for Donegal, was happy that the side had shown a big improvement from the previous week against Longford.
"I think there was a big step and a big improvement in that performance from last week. It was tough out there today. It was a good, hard championship game; I'm sure the crowd enjoyed it.
"I would be very pleased how the boys reacted," said McGrath.
The tigerish defender was not happy though that his defence had allowed Meath in for a goal immediately after Donegal had scored one at the other end.
"The atmosphere was very good. Yeah, it was scandalous that we conceded a goal right after getting a goal. I mean, that took them back into the game again.
"The goal gave us a wee bit of breathing space, but we are going to take the learnings from that there," he said.
However, he was happy that whole side responded any time they were in trouble and especially after Meath added a point after their goal to go a point up with six minutes of normal time left.
"It showed the character of the young fellas out there. To keep up that pace, and the boys came off the bench again today did the business. We needed that at that time and they raised the performance levels as they came on."
He was also very happy that the Donegal forwards came up with the goods when they were needed most.
"But again, credit to Patrick (McBrearty), what a great score. Fair play to him, he took it on and he got his rewards."
Asked if he thought about taking on a couple of chances that came his way on his forays into the Meath half, he smiled.
"It's a game of percentages, isn't it. You always give it to the man who can give it 10 out of 10 every time. It's good that we have those options up front, as well. And credit to them. It's not easy for inside forwards now with teams setting up so defensive. They have to wait their turn, and hold their shape. Fair play to them and fair play to Paddy for putting that ball over the bar."
McGrath, who normally lines out at corner-back and is given the task of curtailing the most lively opposing corner-forwared, found himself starting at half-back as he was tasked with looking after the Meath captain and danger man Graham Reilly.
"He's a good player. He's a leader for them and he scored a cracker of a first point. Fair play to him, it was on the run."
Asked was he worried when that happened, he said: "Those things happen; you are not going to win every ball. He's a good player and a leader for them. It was a tight ould tussle and the heat, too, didn't help things. Up and down the field, it's not easy. Thankfully, we got over the line, just about."