The long torturous wait is over! On Saturday Strabane Athletic created history by becoming the first team from the town to win the Northern Ireland Intermediate League title.
Over the years Strabane produced a number of outstanding teams but when it came to having the consistency to win the coveted intermediate silverware they annually came up short.
That, though, was until this season when Athletic finally got their act together under former Tyrone Milk Cup boss Eamon Curry. Curry moulded a squad of youth and experience that appeared to have the perfect balance in terms of attack and defence.
In claiming the league crown Athletic won 11 and drew one of their 12 matches and clinched the prestigious title with two games to spare. In the process Strabane netted 37 teams, conceded just five times and the final stats will show that they clinched the title by a country mile.
On Saturday Athletic, cheered on by hundreds of local supporters – many of them long-suffering – fittingly wrapped up the title in style by hammering defending champions Magherafelt Sky Blues 6-0 at Melvin.
Before the celebrations began in earnest manager Curry said, “41 years we’ve waited, never been achieved before. I’m so proud of the club and most of all the players. To manage both is a pleasure. Massive thanks to the crowd, I’m told 300 plus, they have been excellent for the boys all year.”
And the silverware success might not end there. Last week Athletic reached the League Cup final following a 3-1 victory over Ardstraw and remain in the NI Challenge Cup competition.
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