ST PATRICK’S Donabate manager Ciaran Roche knows all about those big days. When he was just 13 years old he watched from the dugout along with his father Terry as St Sylvester’s made history in north County Dublin when capturing the Senior A Championship with a victory over Erin’s Isle.
This year marks the silver jubilee of that victory and for Roche it has proved a driving force for him as manager.
“Looking back, that Sylvester’s team probably should have won more than they did and I’m not going to let that happen with these guys.
“Obviously we are going to have Senior B in the next couple of years to get up to Senior A eventually, so tha’s the plan.”
Nonetheless that was from his mind on Saturday night as he celebrated a famous victory - albeit one that was hard-fought.
“We know what they are like. We had them watched a few times. They are very experienced, they’re big and strong and well organised, they never give up and that’s what happened today.”
And he was full of praise for Round Towers’ fighting spirit.
“We thought we had it won, we had two big leads and we ended up hanging on in the end. And we coughed up a few frees when they put us under pressure, so that’s something we probably need to work on for the next day.”
That day comes on Saturday week when Donabate host Offaly champions Clara, who weree 6-10 to 0-7 winners over St Brigid’s Kilashee from Longford in the preliminary round at the weekend.
Roche believes it will be the first of many big games for the club in the years to come.
“That’s going to be a massive occasion for us and we are all really excited about it, but as I said during the week, we are a growing club and today’s win is just the start of things.”
Still, asked whether after just two years in the post he had expected things to go so well, Roche stated: “You always think you can improve things, but when I came in I saw the quality of players and they keep getting better and they are always trying to improve.
“You see guys on the bench who didn’t get a run today and that’s the quality in the squad we have that it will be someone else getting a run out the next day.”