The celebrations had barely begun but already St Patrick’s midfielder Paudie Mallon was already thinking ahead to the Leinster Championship and some unfinished business to resolve.
“I’m delighted now, we get another shot at Leinster. We were very disappointed with what happened last year, losing down in Portlaoise. We’ll enjoy this and get the focus together and we’ll think about that down the line,” stated the Pat’s man.
Mallon will no doubt savour the next few days, but with a league final to address and a tilt at Leinster he knows the focus still has to be there.
“Nobody gave us a chance last year going down to Portlaoise. If we can get ourselves right now and get back into training and get the focus right. Ultimately, Leinster is where you test yourself up against the better teams.”
Bringing him back to the final for a moment and the glory of back to back titles, Mallon sees it as the building blocks for continued success for the Lordship side.
“This is what we wanted at the start of the year. For us putting championships back to back is what we set out our stall to do. It gives us a platform to try and go on and build on that. To came back and win another after last year is the sign of a good team.”
St Patrick’s always seem to have that bit more belief, even when the pressure is on. Mallon knows exactly who to thank for that.
“That’s something that Fergal has brought into our game that we didn’t have before. There’s no panicking, we have a way of playing and we try and play to that.
“Whether things are going right or things are going wrong if you’ve belief in the players in the players around you then you’re willing to keep at it.”
As Sunday’s final went on, the Pat’s midfielder felt it was going to be their day.
“I suppose our first goal was fairly fortunate. Their keeper was very unlucky, it’s the thing like that. And they had couple of wides.
“As time goes on and you see the ball drop wide you start to think that maybe this is going to happen. It did open up towards the end and we were able to pull away and put a bit of daylight between us.”
The Dreadnots threat was never taken lightly revealed Mallon and his team were wary right up until referee Stephen Johnson blew the final whistle.
“But listen, the Dreadnots were always dangerous and we were always worried that they could come back and get a goal. They scored two late goals against us in the earlier group game. We were just glad to hear the final whistle.”
Yet despite this win and the two in a row, Mallon is still haunted by that crushing defeat in the final in 2006.
“I don’t think that will ever leave me. I’ll always remember 06 it’s one that got away from us. But there’s only one way to get over that and that’s to win another championship.”
The Man of the Match Danny O’Connor will of course receive all the plaudits and it’s no more than he deserves according to Mallon.
“He’s brilliant. He’s shown it all this season. He’s coming out and he’s winning ball, he’s got a great pair of hands on him and he can shoot as well.
“He’s a terror to mark in training. I can’t mark him, I’ve to give him to someone else.”
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