MICHAEL Darragh Macauley was among the many walking wounded come the final whistle but admitted that “adrenalin will get you through anything” after he helped the Dubs land their second All-Ireland title in three years at Croke Park last Sunday.
The midfielder produced a typically all-action performance in midfield in the 2-12 to 1-14 win over Mayo in Croke Park as part of a strong local contingent
He lined out alongside Kilmacud Crokes’ Cian O’Sullivan in the centre, while his club mates Paul Mannion and Rory O’Carroll started too, but were also in the wars.
Dublin did not find the fluidity that had been a feature of a stunning 2013 but they did have the appetite for the battle to grind out victory in rugged fashion.
Indeed, the Sky Blues were awash with walking wounded long before the final whistle with all five substitutes used with a quarter of the tie remaining. It meant O’Carroll and Eoghan O’Gara were forced to plough on despite injuries, showing the strength of character required to get over the line and land Sam Maguire.
Post match, Macauley had ice strapped to his left foot but said that it was only a minor knock when compared with what some of his team mates went through.
“One of the lads stood on me in the first half,” the Ballyboden St Enda’s man said. “I’ll get an X-ray and we’ll see how it is. It’s not feeling great. But sure adrenalin will get you through anything. In an All-Ireland final, lads will hang together with half a foot.”
Mannion departed early while O’Carroll shipped a huge blow during a ferocious shoulder on Enda Varley with 12 minutes to go. Visibly shaken, he nonetheless continued on and made some key late interveations.
“We were really just clinging together,” Macauley added. “Word got to me that Eoghan O’Gara was shot, and don’t give him the ball. We used our subs early enough, because our subs have been huge for us all year.
“Those lads have to come on and they have to do the business for us. But we had no one else to replace Eoghan, so we just clung on, got over the line, and I suppose that’s one of the attributes of a good team.”
He also paid tribute to his side’s consistency throughout the year, leading to this ultimate prize.
“I suppose we’ve done it all year. We’ve only been beaten once, apart from the O’Byrne Cup. So we know how to finish out games and we’ve shown that all year. I had complete faith in the lads that we would come through in that game.
“We just stuck to the game plan, and went about our business, and made sure we got the job done.”