IT may have been his last game in a Dundalk shirt and if so, John Dodd certainly made it a memorable one.
The former Aucklander chipped in with Dundalk’s first and last tries, two penalties, three conversions and a drop goal. Not a bad return for a cup final.
The scores helped Dundalk to their tenth Towns Cup, but the best part of the day for Dundalk fans was seeing Dodd in the 85th minute stealing a pass and sprinting down the pitch, unchallenged before leaping superman like onto the turf to land a monstrous try. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
Describing the moment, Dodd said: “It was a bit of relief, bit of jubilation. It was awesome. Our defence was awesome the whole second half and it was the last play so I knew I could go for it and it came off.
“I knew I was gone. Their backs were all up on the line so no speedster was going to catch me from there and I had to put on a show for the last dive over the line.”
“It was a great feeling. These guys wanted it so much. Even before the cup started, we targeted this and it was nearly more important than the league.
“To beat Tullamore who are an awesome side, their full-backs are brilliant, we nullified them today. Winning finals is the best feeling in the world. You can’t describe it.”
Before the game, Dodd revealed that a former player give them that little bit extra before they took to the pitch.
“John McKevitt, who won it in 1987 has a son on the team, MJ. He was at 12 for us today and John came in before the game and gave a heartwarming speech and a few of the lads had a few tears in their eyes and it was pretty emotional. I didn’t even know the guys he was talking about but I was a bit emotional myself. It just goes to show it much it means to the whole community.
“To see the support we had today was just unbelievable. It was a bit light down in Tullow for the semi-final but today the town really got behind us. We had to drive two hours to get here but we outnumbered the Tullamore guys. They really got us through here today and it’s for them as much as it is for us here today.”
Dodd now departs for Siberia, where he will spend the next seven months playing rugby in Russia and after that, he does not what the future holds and whether he will back for Dundalk.
“It looks like I am off to Russia on Wednesday. Who knows if I will be back? The season there finishes in November and I would like to go home and have three months off.
“It will be my third year in a row playing in Russia and my body will need a rest and a break, but if not, it’s a nice note to go out on.”