Reinvigorated Scotstown on the cusp of final

By Shaun Casey

FOR a team that has dominated the club scene in Monaghan over the past 11 years, winning eight county titles, Scotstown have failed to really make a dent on the Ulster Club Championship.

They’ve only competed in two Ulster finals during that time, losing to Crossmaglen and Gaoth Dobhair, and their most recent appearance in the decider was five years ago. But their latest win over Kilcoo has sparked a new level of hope.

For many throughout the province and beyond, Kilcoo were destined to reach the Ulster final and continue their rivalry with Derry kingpins Glen to battle it out for provincial honours.

But Scotstown threw a spanner into the works and travelled to Páirc Esler to down the Mourne County’s dominant force.

It was late but it was great, and that win will be an incredible boost for David McCague’s men.

On the biggest of days, all a manager can do is hope his star men rise to the occasion and don’t shrink under the pressure. McCague, like all of us, watched on in awe as his main players all stood up to be counted.

There’s been hundreds of column inches dedicated to Rory Beggan and the Hughes brothers, Darren and Kieran, down through the years for their heroics in the blue and white of both Monaghan and Scotstown.

And in their last outing against Kilcoo, the three Farney legends furthered their own legacies, dragging their men back from the brink to secure a famous victory for one of the blue bloods of Ulster Club football.

The An Bhoth men are in a very unique group of Ulster teams as one of just four clubs to have completed a three-in-a-row of Ulster titles with Scotstown achieving the feat in 1978, 1979 and 1980 before recapturing their crown for the last time in 1989.

This Sunday, they’re hoping to secure their spot behind the band on Ulster final day as they take on Tyrone champions Trillick, who stunned Crossmaglen in their quarter-final victory, and both will be confident of victory.

The experience that Scotstown have in their ranks must surely count for something. Outside of the aforementioned trio, McCague has a wealth of inter-county talent to call upon.

Conor McCarthy recently picked up an All-Star award for his delightful displays in the Monaghan shirt this season while Ryan O’Toole also impressed in his breakout year under Vinny Corey.

Jack McCarron has arguably been the missing piece for Scotstown on the provincial front in the past decade and having an out-and-out, go-to match winner in the forward line has added a new dimension to Scotstown’s attacking arsenal.

Trillick have already shut down the threat of the Canavan brothers, Darragh and Ruairi, as well as the O’Neill’s, Oisin and Rian, so shutting out the opposition’s best players isn’t an issue for Jody Gormley’s side.

But Scotstown have a lot of fires to put out and if they click, then certainly have the potential to reach a third Ulster final in a decade.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW