Elated captain Micheal Kelly, whose stunning last-gasp goal won the Nicky Rackard Cup for Roscommon hurlers on Saturday, described his Croke Park strike as “the stuff that dreams are made of.”
Kelly struck just as the one minute of additional time had elapsed at the close of a dramatic final. Roscommon, five points down at one stage, trailed by two as their inspirational captain approached his last-gasp free from 22 metres out.
Speaking of the match-winning goal that followed, Kelly said: “This is the stuff that dreams are made of. I thought it was gone from us to be honest. I had a couple of shots myself earlier on and they went wide so I thought it wasn’t going to be my day.
“Look, when it is the last puck of the game you have to give it everything and I was lucky enough it went in. Some days those frees go in and some days they don’t, and thank God today it went in.”
Referring to the sending off, the captain added: “We never dropped the heads…Cathal (Kelly) was unfortunate to get sent off…but we all lifted our game even more. We were not leaving this behind us today.”
Jubilant Roscommon manager Justin Campbell described the win as “absolutely brilliant.”
“I backed these players all the way and they have put in some effort since last November. They are a great bunch of lads. It took us a while to get going this year but by God did they show their true mettle out there today.”
Campbell was delighted for the match-winning hero. “I’m thrilled for Micheal Kelly. He is a real leader and inspiration on and off the field, and if anyone was going to get that winning goal, it was him.”
Campbell added: “It is a very hard way for Armagh to lose a final, but that’s sport. It was a real battle and we knew that if we stuck with it, and were there or thereabouts with 15 minutes to go, we would win it. The subs that came on did their bit too. I couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s such a great feeling – and the lads deserve it.”
Meanwhile Micheal Kelly was quick to praise the team management on what was a great day for Roscommon hurling. “From the word go Justin (Campbell) and the lads in the management set-up have been brilliant. They left no stone unturned and we wanted to repay them today. What a feeling – and what an honour it is to captain this team.”