Culloville on the brink of senior return

By Shaun Casey

CULLOVILLE are currently riding on the crest of a wave, and they are now one win away from a return to senior football for the first time in ten years.

The Blues put in a massive weekend just gone by, earning important victories over St Patrick’s Cullyhanna, the league leaders at the time, and Tullysaran, the only team to have beaten Culloville in the league.

Two wins in three days sees Culloville lead the way at the top of Division 2A, with just one game remaining in two weeks’ time.

“It was a massive weekend for us,” said star man Niall Rowland, who found the net against Cullyhanna and Tullysaran.

“Obviously with Cullyhanna on Friday night, it didn’t matter that it was a top of the table clash, it was a South Armagh derby so that was always going to be tough.

“And then Tullysaran on Sunday, they are the only team that have beaten us in the league up to today and they were well worth their victory the last time, so we knew it was always going to be tough coming down here.

“We’re just happy now to get two wins in three days, top of the league now, obviously promotion is massive but let’s be realistic, everything is geared towards the championship and we’re getting a lot of good football out of a lot of lads which is a positive for us.

“Going into the championship promoted and hopefully a wee bit of silverware under our belt, it’ll be great to have that momentum.”

The emergence of a few young players has been the building blocks for Culloville’s recent success, having claimed the Division 2B league title last season and been one of the big hitters of the Intermediate championship in recent years.

The u-19s reached the Division Two championship final last year and although they lost to Silverbridge in heartbreaking circumstances, a number of youngsters have made the breakthrough and are making a name for themselves at senior level.

“They’re young boys but they’re probably the main men on our senior team at the minute,” explained Rowland, speaking of the likes of sharpshooter Dara Quinn, Fergal Kieran and James King.

“You have other young boys coming through there as well, boys that are still u-18s. Charlie Garvey, Conor Flanagan, Ryan Duffy and Darragh Dooley weren’t playing tonight but they all just came in and fit right into the team.

“It’s massive for us that we’re taking these young players through every year and there’s boys that are fit to come straight into our team and play and not look out of place, it’s good.”

All eyes turn towards the final day and while a draw against Pearse Óg might be enough to capture the title, depending on other results, Culloville will be intent on continuing their fine form and finishing off the campaign with a win.

“We have the Ógs on the last day so it’s a big two weeks for us, we’ll just recover now and hopefully we’ll not slip up in two weeks.”

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