Roll of honour first was driving Cullyhanna – Casey

By Shaun Casey

PEARSE Casey created history for Cullyhanna last weekend. He captained the club to their first-ever Ulster title and kicked the winning point late on to secure their place in history.

Cullyhanna became the first ever Armagh team to win the competition as they saw off Ballyhaise by the minimum of margins.

“It still hasn’t sunk in,” said Casey after the game. “It’s just an unbelievable feeling, I can’t really put it into words what it means to the team, the supporters, everyone around us.

“Everyone that has supported us, not even over the last 12 months but over the last four or five years. It’s just a bit of payback for them, just to say thanks.

“We’ve been working on this over the last 18 or 19 months so it’s just massive for us.

“And to be the first Armagh club to do it, it’s just ever so sweet. It’s just that extra wee bonus and that extra wee incentive for us over the last few weeks going into the final, to be the first is a massive thing.

“In this history books, everyone sees who’s the first and that was something that was always in our mindset, to be the first team in Armagh but also the first team in our own club.”

The two teams played out an awesome affair, with Cullyhanna just shading it. “We knew going into the second half we knew that it was going to be a dogfight and in particular when they went four points up,” added Casey.

“We’ve been in situations like that throughout the year, so we knew we had it in our locker to be composed and all we needed was one chance and we got it.

“A bit of a break ball, Caolan Reavey slotted it into the net and that pushed us on.

“We didn’t panic, we stayed composed which is massive and Ballyhaise, they had chances to really stride away from us with two goal chances. We’ll take it, you take every inch that you can get.

“It was an absolute battle. Going in at half time we said we weren’t winning our own primary possession, and they seemed hungrier under the break balls and that’s something that we tried to clamp down on in the second half and we got a bit of joy.

“We started getting to grips around the middle and we got a few balls and turned them into scores, but you look at the day that it was, it wasn’t for nice football, it was dog eat dog and that’s what it turned into.”

It’s on to the All-Ireland series now where they’ll face Johnny Doyle’s Allenwood of Kildare in the new year. “I think it’s important to enjoy the success and enjoy the Ulster title.

“We’ll stay together as a team over the next two or three days, have a few drinks but come Wednesday, we’ll be looking at a different challenge and we’ll be focusing on that.”

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