"There's a great resolve in the team" - Harte

April 01, 2024

Derry's Shane McGuigan celebrates during the penalty shoot-out against Dublin ©INPHO/James Crombie

Derry boss Mickey Harte hailed his team’s “great resolve” after yesterday’s Allianz Football League Division 1 final victory over Dublin at Croke Park.

After the sides had finished all square (3-18 to 2-21) at the end of extra time, a penalty shoot-out decided the game and it was the Ulster champions that held their nerve to convert their first three spot kicks, claiming the title with a 3-1 win.

It marked the Oak Leaf County’s first Division 1 success since 2008 and, speaking to BBC Sport NI afterwards, their manager praised the character of the group.

"It was not good for our hearts and we had to win it many times but the good thing is that we won it when it mattered most, at the end," Harte said.

"Each time there was break we said we had put so much into this, invested so time and energy into this - wouldn't it be an awful thing to lose.

"The fact they stood up to Dublin for 70 odd minutes, that gave them confidence that they're in the fight. They were never really outplayed or outmanoeuvred.

"Sometimes they were behind and clawed their way back. Through the ups and downs of being in a position to win the game but have it taken from you.

"Ultimately the penalties - that's nerve-wracking after the amount of energy they expended and to be able to take those penalties with the aplomb they did, thank God for that.”

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