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Roscommon captain Ciarain Murtagh lifts the JJ Neston Cup.

Roscommon captain Ciarain Murtagh lifts the JJ Neston Cup.

Seanie McDermott remained a believer

By Cian O'Connell

Seanie McDermott's smile lit up Salthill. Roscommon are perched on the Connacht summit for the first time since 2010 and McDermott cut a satisfied figure after their thrilling win.

McDermott has soldiered for Roscommon for the past decade, playing in all four Divisions of the Allianz Football League.
So this triumph was particularly sweet.

"I'm absolutely delighted, I'm proud to say it is my second Connacht medal," a jubilant McDermott stated. 

"I always said I wouldn't hang up the Roscommon jersey until I had another one won. That isn't to say I'm going to hang it up yet. I'm absolutely delighted to get it here. 

"I thought it would come last year really with the form we were in, but it didn't, and Galway were the better team last year.

"This year we were by far the better team on the day. I think our first half performance really set the tone. Maybe the wind, a few little things here or there, Michael Daly's shot coming off the post. In all these games you need a bit of luck, but to a man the lads were absolutely phenomenal."

Roscommon had several stars during this stirring win with McDermott encouraged by how his colleagues performed throughout.

"Conor Devaney was mammoth out there, Enda Smith and Tadhg O'Rourke dominated that game, we had been written off at midfield. They were collosal. There is a lot of talent in that dressing room, a lot of belief."

Relegation from Division One of the Allianz Football League was a blow following the 2016 Championship disappointment.

Fergal O'Donnell's departure as joint manager was another talking point, but McDermott was adamant Ros could respond. “There was an awful lot of talk out there about unrest," McDermott says.  

"There was no unrest in our dressing-room. Whatever happened between Fergal and Kevin, that’s management, that’s how things go. As players, you either want to play for Roscommon or you don’t. 

“For me, it didn’t matter if it was Mickey Mouse that was over the team. I’ve always said that. It doesn’t bother me who is over us. I just want to play for Roscommon as long as I can. 

“Same for all the lads in there. There is a lot of talent in Roscommon, but you have to be on the edge, on the tempo or you are not going to win games and that’s where we were."

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