O'Donnell: All-Ireland win means 'absolutely everything'

Updated: Saturday, 28 Sep 2013 23:28 | Comments

Shane O'Donnell scored 3-03 as Clare claimed the All-Ireland title
Shane O'Donnell scored 3-03 as Clare claimed the All-Ireland title

All-Ireland Hurling final Man of the Match Shane O’Donnell has said the county's win means “absolutely everything” after firing 3-03 in his county’s sensational final victory today.

The 19-year-old was included in the team as a late change with Darach Honan moved to the bench.

He did not know he was starting the match until hours before the game.

O'Donnell showed no nerves, scoring the game’s first point and then firing three goals inside the first 20 minutes as Clare got off to a flying start.

He also popped up late in the game to add two crucial points as Cork threatened to claim the lead in the second half.

Asked what the win meant, he said: "It means absolutely everything. It’s tough times all around the country, and if you can lift people with these types of performance and these kind of days.....look at the Hill, it's absolutely amazing, you can see what it means to them."

Speaking to RTÉ Sport on the pitch after the game, he said: "It’s absolutely amazing. It is the first time I am on the panel and I get to the final. I don’t even know the hard work most of the lads put in every year and they get nowhere. This is for them, it’s for the back room staff. I'm the man who gets on the end of the goals but it's a team effort to get goals."

O'Donnell's first two goals came from passes by Patrick Donnellan and Conor McGrath.

The Éire Óg clubman said: "The first two were absolutely given to me, handed to me on a plate. It’s the stuff of dreams. The first 20 minutes I was in dreamland. You would wake up and say 'that'd never happen'. I couldn't believe it out there, I couldn't believe it."

He paid tribute to Cork, who drew level in the second half and only finally saw their challenge end when substitute Honan scored Clare’s fifth goal of the day with minutes to go.

O’Donnell said: “Testament to Cork, they were a brilliant team, they never gave up the ghost. Goal after goal was going in and it didn't faze them, they just came back but thank God we came out the right side."

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