As the fulcrum around which the Gers switched from defence to attack, midfielder Michael Rogers was ideally placed to see both the raw attacking power of his side in action, plus the resolute and tight defending at the other end.
With only three points conceded by half time, the Gers defence was watertight and it enabled the forwards to spring forward and hit the knockout blows needed to lift the intermediate title. As he waited with his side to collect the Seamus Flood trophy, Rogers applauded his defenders on a job well done.
“It was a whole team effort. The boys kicked the scores, but the work at the back was brilliant. They only kicked three scores the whole of the first half, so credit for the boys for that.”
Putting the performance of the championship was a big motivating factor for the Gers on Sunday, but there was some unfinished business to attend to in the shape of righting a previous wrong in the championship this year.
“We had a point to prove because they bet us already, begins Rogers, “so weren’t going to let it happen again. Look the boys all turned up today and it’s just great to win.”
The old adage that goals win games was once again proven in the final. But more importantly it’s when you you score the goals that matters most.
“The second goal I think was a big killer blow. It numbed the pace of the game and that’s what we wanted when you’re that far ahead,” agrees the Gers midfielder.Their two goals came either side of the half time whistle. It destroyed any momentum Brides were hoping to gain: “We knew we had to come out in the first ten minutes and play, it was vital. If they got any sort of start on us it could be a different game.”
The winning margin was quite large in the end and Geraldines took the foot off the gas late on and allowed Brides a few consolation scores. Rogers didn’t expect such a big win though: “It was a big win in the end. We weren’t expecting to win by that much, but it was just a credit to the year we had. We put in the work this year. We had the arse ran off us the whole year so we’re just happy it paid off in the end.”
If there was one man that Gers manager Eamonn McEneaney was keen to keep a close eye on, it was his former Louth forward Aaron Hoey. Hoey scored just three points on a very disappointing day. Rogers revealed that neutralising Hoey was an important part of the Gers plan.
“I thought we kept them out very well. Aaron Hoey is a big target man for them and we tried not to let him get at the ball much.”
The sense of solidarity with the minor team and their success in the championship last week spurred on his own side to victory on Sunday according to the 22-year-old.
“It definitely lifted us. We were all out on the pitch with them last week and it was a big result for us.”
In the aftermath at Dowdallshill many were calling Gers display the performance of the championship. There is little doubt that they turned up the style on Sunday. With a smile and a look towards the trophy, Rogers remained coy: “Oh I don’t know. I let everyone else judge that. We’re just happy to get the team over the line.”
Amen to that.