Sunday 26 January 2020

We did ourselves justice out there: Jack

Ronan Finn
Ronan Finn

The turf of Lansdowne Road is proving to be a very happy hunting ground for Jack Byrne.

Just weeks after he made his Ireland debut, and impressed in a friendly win over Bulgaria, the much-travelled midfielder, who has really found his feet back home at Shamrock Rovers, picked up the first medal of his senior career, helping the Hoops get the better of Dundalk in the FAI Cup final.

There's no medal around his neck when he comes out to speak to the media. "It's in the dressing room, waiting for me," he says with a grin.

"I can't even describe how it feels. I've just been waiting all week for the game, just be let out there and I think all the boys did themselves justice today, did the club proud, did the fans proud.

"We all wanted to bring it home, we knew how much it meant to the gaffer and everyone else. To win it on penos, it's hard for Dundalk, but it's brilliant for us," added Byrne.

"It's just relief when you win, I don't know if it's happiness, it's relief that we've done this."

The day didn't all go according to plan for Rovers, as the lead they had thanks to Aaron McEneff's goal was short-lived, Michael Duffy with the equaliser.

"You're sick as a dog, you're shocked. You're thinking 'This is it, it's over, there is only three minutes added on, last kick of the game'. But Michael Duffy is a top player, he can do stuff like that," says Byrne.

"We've unbelievable characters like Joey O'Brien and Finner (Ronan Finn) who have been through this before. They just grabbed us and said, 'Look lads, we're shocked, we just need to get through the next five minutes'

"It's disappointing to concede, but to go on and win it the way we did it was special.

"It shows how close the two teams are, it's two very good teams, they've got very good players. It was a good advert for Irish football."

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