Red Hughs ace Shane Gallagher says a broken jaw was never going to prevent him from lining out in yesterday’s All-Ireland junior quarter-final.
Gallagher came off the bench and scored a dramatic goal against Dunedin Connolloys late in extra time to send Red Hughs into an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Easkey from Sligo next month.
Picture: Shane Gallagher with Thomas McMenamin and Gerard Melaugh after he was admitted to hospital with a broken jaw following last month’s Ulster final.
Gallagher sent a late night text to manager Seosamh Mac Ceallabhui re-affiriming his desire to play.
On Sunday at O’Donnell Park, Mac Ceallabhui needed reassurance. ‘ No regrets,’ came the response.
And Gallagher delivered the goods against Dunedin.
“Sitting at the house with a broken jaw, saying I’m not allowed to play…I was never not going to play in this game,” he said afterwards.
“I probably shouldn’t have been playing.
“It’s unbelievable to be in an All-Ireland semi-final. What the boys have given this year, every man has given everything and we’ve not taken one game for granted.
“We planned all week that I wasn’t going to play. I told the boys all week I was good to play but Seosamh wasn’t going to play me. I was training away, just staying out of contact.
“I texted him on Saturday night again. I couldn’t miss this.”
Gallagher sustained the injury in Red Hughs’ Ulster final win over Limavady at Celtic Park. He stayed put that night to see his team-mates come back from four points down to win the province.
Medical advice was to the contrary, but Gallagher replaced James Carlin in the 41st minute.
Gallagher said: “Of course, you’re worried. But I know every one of those boys would do the same.
“Stephen McMenamin said it in there. He said: ‘we’re never, ever going to be in this position again. We’re one hour away from walking out at Croke Park.’
“He’s right. This club will never be in that situation. We need to buy in, train like dogs and just go out there and do it.”
The tie had momentarily swung in favour of Dunedin, but McMenamin’s goal late in the first half of extra time set Red Hughs up – and Gallagher’s decisive strike won the day.
He said: “I gave it to Peadar (McGlinchey) and was hoping that he’d put it over. He gave it back to me and (Calvin) Bradley called to me to put it in the net. I was going to fist it over, but there was a wee hole there and I went for it. It was a great moment.”Tags: