MICHAEL Callaghan has been making a name for himself as something of a super sub for the Donegal minors.
Callaghan posted 1-3 off the bench in the preliminary round hammering of Antrim a fortnight ago, but his contribution in last week’s tense 1-9 to 0-10 quarter-final win over Monaghan was perhaps more telling.
The Naomh Columba man was called for with his team a point in arrears after a Stephen Mooney-inspired Monaghan lit the touch paper at the start of the second half.
Donegal were a man down, Ethan Friel having been sent off late in the first half. Callaghan came on to kick two vital points as Luke Barrett’s men prevailed impressively in Clones.
“I’m happy to contribute whatever way I can and help the boys out,” the Teelin man told Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub.
“It was close when I came in, but it was good to get in and I suppose the fresh legs helped the team. We had to just get in and work hard.
“It was a great victory. It was close to the end, but we got through it.”
Donegal demolished Antrim 4-22 to 0-8 in their opener – a win, and a performance, that lifted the talk somewhat.
A different set of traits was needed at St Tiernach’s Park and Donegal went to the well to dig out a fine win over a fancied Monaghan.
Callaghan said: “It was nervy in the last few minutes to say the least. They were up the field and there were only a couple of points in it. We were fearing the worst but luckily we pulled through.
“They had a purple patch just after half-time. We just stuck to our game. We had 14 men, but we dug in and stuck at it. We were coached well and we were well ready for it. The boys worked really hard.
“We don’t listen to the outside noise, but there was a wee bit of pressure after the last week’s big win.
“We had to keep our feet on the ground though. We knew we’d have a big battle in Clones against Monaghan. We got through it anyway.”
Donegal now take on Armagh in Friday’s semi-final at Healy Park.
This group hasn’t had much collective work over the last two years due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Callaghan and his peers, though, are happy to be in the county colours – and want their voyage to continue.
He said: “We didn’t get much of a run last year and it’s back-to-back now. It’s been tough with no Championship experience, but we’re enjoying it.”Tags: