Chris Shields put in yet another man of the match display in Tallaght on Sunday afternoon but the Dundalk midfielder felt that new boy Donal McDermott was the one who deserved the plaudits.
McDermott caught the eye when introduced for Daryl Horgan in the 58th minute and Shields feels the Ashbourne attacker will be a huge asset to Dundalk’s bid for honours.
“Donal was a shining light in the second-half. He got us playing. He is very composed and he has great trickery. It was only his first appearance and I’m sure he will only build on that.
“It shows the importance of the squad that we have,” added Shields. “Myself and Darren Meenan didn’t play on Thursday and came back in today for John Mountney, who got on the scoresheet against Jeunesse and Ruaidhri Higgins, who was man of the match. It shows the strength in depth we have which is going to be important if we are to win trophies.”
If Dundalk do win the league title, many will look back at Sunday’s win in Tallaght as a defining point of the campaign.
“If you want to go and challenge for league titles then these kind of scrappy games are the ones you want to win, especially when they’re against the teams will be up there at the end of the year competing with you. All in all it’s a great win,” said Shields.
The first-half was far from a classic as the stop start nature meant that both teams struggled to find any fluency. Dundalk looked the most likely though and they got their rewards when Patrick Hoban tapped home with 66 minutes played.
“It was very scrappy,” agreed Shields. “There was nothing really in it and I’d say they’ll struggle to find highlights for the TV on Monday night. Both teams were feeling each other out and it was very cautious. We had to wait for it to open up and thankfully it did in the second-half.
“It was a great move for the goal,” he continued. “Kurtis slipped a great ball across for Pat and they are the type of goals that he loves getting. Easy tap ins are the same as 40-yard screamers, they all count as long as they go into the back of the net.”