By Michael McMullan
GLEN skipper Connor Carville praised the togetherness in the group as the key ingredient in coming through their acid test against Naomh Conaill.
An penalty gave the Donegal champions a boost in a second half that saw the sides level on four occasions before Emmett Bradley kicked the Watties into next month’s decider with Scotstown.
“It comes down to the togetherness of the group,” said Carville of their win.
“We are very tight knit. We are all best mates with each other and back each other to the hilt,” he said, seconds after stepping out of the Ulster champions’ post game huddle.
“We trust that we can get the job done and know we are never beat. We never stop trying and we never quit.
“It is instilled in us from a young age that it is the way Glen play and thankfully it comes to fruition on nights like this.”
Glen won their third successive Derry title earlier this season, their third in all.
Kilcoo edged them out after extra time in the 2021 semi-final before Glen bounced back to win their first Ulster title on the way to a controversial All-Ireland final defeat back in January.
At times of Saturday’s win over Naomh Conaill, Glen’s missed chances looked they they’d come back to haunt them. It was every bit the battle Carville and Glen were expecting.
“We talked all week that this would be our hardest game of the year and we knew Glenties were a very, very good side,” he said.
“They set up very well and they have won an awful lot of Donegal championships.
“We knew it was going to me like this. Malachy said before the game, this was going to be a one or a two point-game either way and to keep going right to the end, to keep trusting what we do and thankfully we did.”
Carville hailed the “unreal character” from the group stating its importance when the game hung in the balance.
“Big Stevie (O’Hara) kicked one with the outside of the boot and Emmett (Bradley) stepped up to kick the winner. It was a tough game but it was great to get through it.”
O’Hara’s point looked like being the winner only for Naomh Conaill to roll the dice again. Leo McLoone’s lobbed ball into the goalmouth was flicked over the bar by AJ Gallagher and the sides were level again.
“I heard Sean Hurson say there was another minute left and got the word out that it would be the last play and thankfully we won a great break up there,” Carville said.
“We worked it up the line and got the right man (Emmett Bradley) to kick the shot at the end. He kicked a free (wide) that I thought was over so it was good for him to kick that one.”