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Diarmuid Connolly caps superb year with one last win


St Vincent's celebrate

St Vincent's celebrate

Ciaran Dorney, St Vincent's, in action against Eoin Rigney, Rhode.

Ciaran Dorney, St Vincent's, in action against Eoin Rigney, Rhode.


St Vincent's celebrate

WITH the result sealed with so much time remaining in Navan yesterday, nothing would do for the Rhode support therein than to have Diarmuid Connolly sent off.

He had, to be fair, been involved in a big moment in the match, though not necessarily of his own fault and nor was it the winning or losing of the Leinster final.

Initially booked for a foul that would have been a black card in that short period of time when referees still awarded them, Rhode captain Páuric Sullivan then got involved in a row between Connolly and Anton Sullivan that frankly, was none of his business.

All three were booked and thus Páraic Sullivan was sent off and Connolly who, from the vantage point of the press box, seemed more sinned against than sinner, spent the rest of the match being received by the Rhode supporters like a dastardly villain in a pantomime peering beadily over the top of his long black cape.

"He takes a lot of hits and he takes a lot of everything and it's very frustrating for him at times too," acknowledged Rhode's manager, Pat Daly.

"I'm not saying that we would have won the match if á was left on.

"And I'm not going to say a bad word about Diarmuid Connolly either. He's a super footballer."

Connolly then went into full-forward and kicked a point off his left in what would be the final classy act in an extraordinary season for him personally.


"He's a couple of years older now," Tommy Conroy outlined.

"He's a very experienced player.

"He's played at the highest level now since probably 2009/2010.

"He's a lovely guy to be around. He's a very genuine guy to be around. His temperament has improved, yeah, there's no doubt about that.

"People try to target him and it's a compliment to him.

"He takes it as, 'Right, if you try to target me, that's fine, we'll get on and try to play football'."

"Diarmuid has, not alone on the pitch, he's been immense in the dressing room, around younger guys and he's had a long, long year," Conroy added.

"When you're getting a bit of success and you're winning another county title, their professionalism is that they want to be better, they want more."