URNEY captain Ryan Henry stated that Sunday’s breakthrough triumph ended the ‘heartbreak’ after a succession of near misses by the club.
St Columba’s two decade long quest to seal a return to Senior football reached a successful conclusion in the quaint surrounds of Eskra’s home pitch on a sunny but chilly winter’s day.
Victory over Eglish in the Tyrone ACL Division One/Two play-off decider sealed their progress to the big league, a late Ronan Lafferty fisted goal paving the way for their famous 1-10 to 0-9 success.
It might not have been a glamour fixture played out in front of several thousand spectators at a major county ground, with a gleaming trophy waiting in the wings for the victors, but after witnessing their promotion dreams ruined in three Intermediate Championship Finals, the delirious Urney players and supporters didn’t care about the backdrop or setting. And team captain Henry summed up the emotions of everyone associated with the Clady based club.
“We were in three (Championship) finals in the space of five years and everyone of them has ended in heartbreak for us. This year things were turned on its head a bit in that we had a poor Championship but better league campaign. But ultimately it was the same goal in the end up which was to get to Division One, whether the Paddy Cullen Cup was involved or not.
“Some might say that we went by the scenic route but we are not worried about it. We’ve got up to senior and that is where we belong.”
Prospects of another Championship run were ruined in the first round back in the autumn when a strangely lifeless Urney bowed out in disappointing fashion against Gortin.
Henry praised the team for refocusing their sights fairly quickly on the league after that loss.
“Certain things didn’t go our way in the Championship and it took a while to pick things up again. We had a few injuries leading up to the match and I picked up an injury myself after twenty minutes or so. When you lose in the Championship and you are already into September it is hard to pick yourself up. But we regrouped and got enough wins overall to get into the play-offs. We were determined to give it a crack. We won our first play-off game and it sort of snow-balled from there.”
FULL REPORT, PICTURES AND REACTION IN TOMORROW’S STRABANE CHRONICLE
Posted: 7:12 pm November 23, 2016
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