Glenelly out to seize the initiative

GLENELLY manager Diarmuid McNulty believes at least eight teams are in with a chance of winning the Pat Darcy Cup as his side get set to meet Augher in the preliminary round of the Tyrone Junior Championship this Saturday afternoon.

That long journey to a potential title starts this weekend with the St Joseph’s keen to be in the shake-up.

Glenelly rounded off their preparations with a loss against neighbours Urney last Sunday, when conceding an injury-time goal. Although the manner of the defeat hurt, McNulty felt it was a good opportunity to try things out ahead of the Augher game.

“We have plenty of positives on that front but the way it ended will sting for a while, we have to shake that off this week.

“I feel there are six, seven or even eight teams that could win the (Junior) title. It has been a very competitive league campaign. Some teams have been exceptional and I felt we could still have gotten ourselves a play-off spot, mathematically at least.

“The Urney loss robbed us of that. The focus now is the championship and it’s that old manager’s adage,one game at a time for us,” he quipped.

This is a youthful Glenelly side with limited championship experience. Many of the squad have been tied up with the reserves and minors, forcing McNulty to dig deep into his resources.

“Our reserves were involved up until last week with Cookstown pipping us and we had boys out playing with three different sides so we haven’t been able to have many proper training sessions over the past month. We’re sort of just trying to manage a load and keep everyone ticking over. It’s hard to juggle but the proof of the pudding will be next Saturday.”

Eoghan McConnell, goalkeeper Conor McAneney, Lorcan McCullagh, Oscar O’Neill and Garrett O’Neill have impressed this season. McNulty feels their league standing at the end up was probably a fair reflection on the way their campaign went as they missed out on the play-offs.

“We made those play-offs last season so missing out at the weekend on reflection is disappointing but in reality we had more draws this year. We tried things and jigged the squad about so it’s about right where we finished up.

“There’s a lot of young bodies for sure and the older boys are trying to teach them too but the young legs are hard to beat. They are learning and we are learning. They will make mistakes but they all have that enthusiasm that gets them to get up and go again. We just hope everyone is available and we can pick things up for what will be an intense outing.”

The Gortin man is well aware of the challenge against an Augher side which won the league meeting by six points.

“Augher have some quality players and again they have been up and down the divisions. There’s experience in that group.”

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