O'Connells' Seán Connolly celebrates after today's game. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Once a competent goalkeeper, Seán Connolly is now very much an exceedingly effective forward.
Undoubtedly, he would have been disappointed not to have started the Intermediate showpiece against Clan na Gael on Sunday, but when called upon after 20 minutes, he well and truly delivered. His turn, swivel and strike to the back of the Clans’ net proved crucial in the O’Connells’ 1-11 to 0-8 victory in Dunleer.
Following the final whistle, an elated Connolly told the Dundalk Democrat of his delight: “I can’t describe how good this feels.
“This is the third final that I have played in and our second win, they do not get any easier, but the winning feeling gets better and better.
“We’re a united group of players, we all grew up together and are good friends off the field, it is just an unbelievable feeling”.
Having played between the posts for the first defeat of 2006 (Naomh Malachi) and victory in 2012 (Clan na Gael), Connolly explained the stark contrast between the two positions.
“I played in goals up until this season,” he said.
“It’s obviously a completely different story playing outfield and to score a goal in an Intermediate final is something that I will always cherish”
“This year was all about trying to get morale back in the camp and first and foremost, we wanted to consolidate ourselves in the Intermediate league and to then take it from there,.
“When the chips were down the management were there to keep us going, they have been excellent all year, every man in this squad has worked very hard to get us back to where we belong, in the Senior Championship playing against the best teams in the county," Connolly added.