‘Donegal win proves we’re in top flight on merit’ – McStay

Joint Roscommon manager Kevin McStay says the most satisfying outcome of Sunday’s remarkable win over Donegal is that Roscommon can now say that they belong in Division One (report and reaction, pages 50,53,54,55).

  Speaking to People Sport moments after the final whistle sounded in Letterkenny, Kevin McStay said: “I am really pleased with the way the players applied themselves today. It was very honest endeavour.

  “We were tested in that second half and we came through in great style. Donegal are a super side, they are so far down the track in terms of experience, that’s where we want to be. But we came here today and won. It was what we were dreaming of doing and now we came and we did it and I couldn’t be happier. We can now say that we are a Division One team and that we are here on merit.

  “We missed a few chances in the first half and our young lads were a little bit anxious around the goals but it was fantastic to see our work on the training ground being replicated on the field of play today in a big match. There was a huge crowd and a brilliant atmosphere, and I can tell you this, our lads loved playing here today.”

  Roscommon’s 1-19 to 0-17 win was – remarkably – the team’s fourth Division One triumph in 36 days.

   “Four wins in a row and all away from home” reflected McStay. “I think we will play all our matches away from home next year (laughs). But we played some great football and the goal was fantastic. I was shouting at him (Cathal Cregg) to kick it over the bar but he took it brilliantly.”

  Next up is McStay’s native county, with whom he had a distinguished playing career…

  “We are looking forward to the Mayo match now. Look, it’s just another match for me and I am looking forward to getting our lads revved up for that. They are doing everything we ask of them and I have to say that I am really proud of them today.”

Donegal view

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher was generous in defeat, acknowledging that it was a fair outcome.

  “It was a very lethargic display by us against a very hungry team. We did well at the start of the second half but after we lost a man it was easy for them. Roscommon were hungrier and sharper and that was the difference today.

  “Even though we got it down to two points at one stage, we were always chasing the game and they were getting one overlap after another and they kicked some wonderful scores and they deserved to win it.”