PADO Flynn said he knew from the first time he met with the Palatine players that they could go and win a senior championship. He went on to say that he told anyone who would listen that they were worth a punt at the bookie office.
“I said it to you before. These guys are a special group. A special breed. On Good Friday, we were up and down Jenkinstown Wood doing manoeuvres with army guys. Learning about leadership. I was told afterwards that we had guys who were leaders. Guys who would lead the team and that night I was in my local bar, the Cave Bar, I told lads to have a few quid on Palatine to win the county final. We were 14-1 or 16-1. In fairness the guys delivered today,” said the man from Muckalee.
He was somewhat vexed they were still considered to be outsiders all through the campaign.
“I think we have been slightly disrespected in the last couple of weeks. In fairness, we beat the county champions twice. Once by 13 points. We beat the two teams that beat us last year. We beat Rangers by 18 or 19 points. No-one seemed to know we were down four or five players in our earlier matches.
“I just thought it was extremely disrespectful to the players. If any other team had got to a county final unbeaten with such a display of courage that they showed last Saturday, they would have been tipped. Paddy Power got it right with the odds on the day but no, they are a young team.
“Look how fearless Josh Egan was today. He tore into the hearts of the Tinryland defence today. Tomás Kenny, when he came on. They all want to play so badly. I will be honest with you. They are like a family. Some of them drive you mad, some of them are a little bit out there but, at the end of the day, they play for one another. There is something inside them that they were never going to be beaten today.”
He said he was not surprised when Tinryland came back at them and almost drew level.
“We knew Tinryland were going to get on top at one stage. In fairness, we knew there was savage fight in them. You saw it here the last day against Rangers. Let us call a spade a spade. We were on the front foot from an early stage. We went looking for goals. We were trying to win the game and at some stage that catches up on you. Maybe on reflection, we as a management team, were a couple of minutes slow bringing subs on to the field. As soon as we started bringing on subs and once we got fresh legs on the pitch, I felt we were never in danger.”
By Kieran Murphy