KENNY Clarke has savoured many a victory at Healy Park over the years but he admits there was something a tad surreal about being on the winning end of proceedings last Sunday.
With his sons Ryan and Thomas in the St Enda’s ranks, dad found himself in the opposition corner as he took charge of a Strabane Sigersons side which pulled off a stunning, but fully merited, upset over the hosts.
Goals in either half from Dylan Arnold and Ruairi Gormley catapulted the below-strength visitors to an unlikely 2-11 to 0-14 triumph over Omagh’s star-studded line up.
Not only did the win enable Clarke to savour family bragging rights when he got home that evening, but more importantly the result provided a timely shot in the arm for the Sigersons who have been embroiled in a season long relegation scrap at the foot of the Division One table.
Clarke was gushing in his praise of his young charges after the final whistle, as they showed they were no respectors of lofty reputations in coming into the lion’s den and prevailing.
“ It was a fantastic performance by the lads. The boys were amazing, they really were. I asked them in the changing room beforehand. I said I’m selfish here guys, please do it for me here.
“ They went out and produced a performance which was all I could have asked for. In the second half they just rolled up their sleeves and went to town. I don’t think Omagh had any answer to them to be honest.”
Kenny acknowledged that it was a strange afternoon, as he sought to plot the downfall of not only his own kith and kin, but also many players he had managed at youth level in the past with St Enda’s. However there was no doubting where his current allegiances lie.
“ I left the house in the morning and it was a surreal moment leaving my sons to meet up with the opposition. But I can’t be more proud of this bunch of Strabane boys.
“ They were absolutely brilliant They were just well up for it. Sometimes you talk about teams on paper but the best team on paper doesn’t always win. If that was the case you wouldn’t bother play the match. The boys wanted it more than them.”
FULL STORY ON TODAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE