By Shaun Casey
PROMOTION to the top tier was the goal from the start of the year for Sean MacCumhaills according to boss Mark O’Sullivan. They had to do it the hard way, via the playoffs, and captured the Division 2B league title along the way.
“We felt we had a squad that was good enough to go up and I suppose we were somewhat disappointed we didn’t go up directly,” said O’Sullivan. “But in saying that the two teams that did go up ahead of us, Malin and Downings, both beat us in the regular season.
“The league doesn’t lie, there’s enough games there to go up and unfortunately, we just weren’t good enough to go up in the top two, so we were delighted to go up in the playoffs.
“It was a great match and gave us great preparation for what’s coming up this weekend, the first round of the Donegal Senior Championship, we’re away to St Michael’s. That’ll be a real test and a real big step up.”
Sean MacCumhaills hope that star man Oisin Gallen will return from the States in time for the opening round of the Championship, and they carry great momentum into next week’s clash.
“We’ve good momentum and there’s a good vibe at training. We’ve a real plethora of players at the upper end of the spectrum, lads in their 30s and lads who are 18 or 19 so there’s a great vibe at training, a great atmosphere, good fun and it has put us now in good stead for what’s coming.
“We know what’s coming down the road ahead, St Michael’s, they defeated us in our own patch last year and they’re an established senior team and they’ve some seriously quality players.
“It’s just as if they keep developing quality players and we know when you go down to the bridge, down to Dunfanaghy, you’ll get nothing easy. It’s probably one of the hardest grounds to go to in the county.
“We’re under no illusions as to what awaits us next Saturday, it’ll be a serious battle and we just have to be at our absolute maximum otherwise we won’t get anything.
“We’ve contested a couple of quarter finals now in the last few years and we’d like to just see is there a possibility that we could push on, but we can’t look beyond Saturday evening because if we do, we just won’t get anything. Our full focus is literally on Saturday night.”
It’s a quick turnaround from winning a league title one week to opening your championship account the next. O’Sullivan believes it’s important to celebrate the good times when they come around but not to get distracted.
“Lads themselves realise there’s just too much invested now. We’ll enjoy it when the season is over, hopefully there’s better days to come and we’ll have more to celebrate but you have to enjoy the good days too and they did enjoy the night.
“But our full focus now is on championship, that’s what it’s all about, you’re rated on championship so that’s where we want to be at.”