Tuesday 18 June 2019

'We deserve to be in senior football'

Gerry McLaughlin

If true triumph is elation recollected in tranquillity, then those bounding Shamrock Gaels boys will be on a high for quite some time.

And, victory is always sweeter when it is almost snatched from your grasp.

Bad enough that Curry had cut a late three points lead to level matters in the drawn game.

And it looked like their long- awaited cup was going to be snatched from them yet again when Curry's veteran Sean Davey hit a scrambled goal just less than ten minutes from time.

But, John McPartland's young men showed true grit when it really mattered and none more so than trusty marksman David Quinn who put them back in front when they really needed it.

Quinn was understandably very emotional in the immediate aftermath of a famous victory.

A breathless Quinn told the Sligo Champion:

"When they got the goal, we thought, here we go again, but there is buckets of character in this team.

"It is a 20 man game and we knew that and there is bottle in this team. There was a certain man that questioned our bottle and I don't think you can question that today".

And he saluted minor star Dylan Willis for that truly golden goal.

"Dylan Willis is still a minor and he came on and virtually won us the game.

"I am just so happy, 1985 was the last time we won an Intermediate title and we won a senior title last in 1992.

"It is great to be back in the senior grade and this is a young team and we deserve to be in senior football.

"But Curry are an incredible team too, Adrian Marren, Red Og Murphy and Mikey Gordon are all great players and they showed mighty character in coming back and making it so tough for us."

So what does this victory mean to Shamrock Gaels?

"Just look around, it means so much, I saw my two aunties there crying.

"It is all about our family, our community and our club and I am just so happy", said the talented 25-year-old.

"We lost a final in 2014 when we got well beaten by Calry but it is just unreal to come out on top here today. We will enjoy this one".

And so will their Fermanagh native manager John McPartland who said he never lost faith in their courage and character.

An emotional John said he was "absolutely delighted".

"It's not great for the heart but we have lived on the edge al year with some very close games and Curry are great battlers, but I always knew it was in our lads.

"This is a very young team with six U-20's and four minors and they were in a lot of underage finals this year as well.

"So there is great potential for the future.

"I could not ask for any more from them and they can go to much greater things.

"We were already in Division One of the SFL and finished mid table so that also stood to us.

"And it is onwards and upwards from here."

Sligo Champion