Although he isn't a regular scorer, Eoin Doyle showed supreme composure in the heat of battle on Saturday evening as he bagged the crucial score in Kildare's win over Longford.
The Kildare captain stepped up to score what was a seismic point for the Lilywhites as it sent them into the lead for the first time after 70 minutes of a see-saw battle in which they rarely looked like gaining the upper hand until the final passages.
The Naas defender is excellent at sprinting up the field and losing his man at opportune times to join the attack, and he did so to great effect as the game headed towards stoppage time when he played a one-two with Daniel Flynn before fisting over from a tight angle.
"It happened fairly fast," Doyle told KildareNow on the pitch afterwards.
"I remember was Dan calling for it and then I had it in my hand. It was a tight enough angle so I just put any sort of contact on it and it went over, thank God. I don't get many of them so I'll take that one."
The nervy win was perhaps one of the finest grinding out jobs Kildare have completed under Cian O'Neill. The Lilywhites have been questioned plenty of times about their bottle, but achieving a win in this manner felt like a pivotal moment in the team's progression.
Doyle was happy to show everyone the type of passion and determination within the panel, noting that it was always there but sometimes not entirely evident.
"That type of passion, determination and pride in the jersey didn't shine through in some games this year and that was probably the most disappointing thing," said Doyle.
"Not that we never had it or it wasn't there, it just never came through, particularly against Carlow and in some games in the league. The league was different because it was game after game and it was tough - Carlow was the big one where on a personal level where on a personal level I was very angry and disappointed. We are just trying to get those fundamentals right and show that they are there and we've got to be showing them every day. I think in the last two games we've shown that pride we have in the jersey and where we come from and what it means to us."
Kildare now progress to the third round of the qualifiers where they can face anyone from lowly Leitrim to a seasoned Mayo team, but there is a sense of momentum as they prepare for the seven-day turnaround.
"They always say that if you get a run in the qualifiers it's good, but it'll all come down to the day and you have to show up and do what you have to do," continued Doyle.
"Momentum or no momentum, it's all about on the day so we'll have to go back to the drawing board and work on the things we have to work on and improve on the things we done wrong today."
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