Pomeroy intent on pushing on after promotion

By Barry O’Donnell

AMBITIOUS Pomeroy joint-manager John McElholm insists that moral victories aren’t the aim of the Plunketts in their first season back in the top flight, despite a battling performance at the home of the Senior county champions last weekend.

The visitors lost out by four points to Trillick at Donnelly Park on Friday night, an injury to their returning county star Kieran McGeary midway through the second half allowing the hosts to wrest a firm grip on proceedings.

Up to that stage Pomeroy had more than held their own with the all-conquering Reds and inspite of the loss they sit comfortably in fifth spot in the Division One table after five rounds of games.

Having lifted the Intermediate Championship title last term, the Plunketts have clearly maintained a bounce in their step heading into the new campaign, and it is a sign of their lofty ambitions that John McElholm drew few comforts from the Trillick defeat.

“We are disappointed to be honest. We came up to, number one, put in a good performance but, number two, to see if we could get the win. It is an absolute dogfight this division.

“Yes, they are senior champions and a great team but we don’t go into any match thinking we are going to make up the numbers. That just isn’t our mindset.

“It was a very competitive game. We have been going well. We have had a good start to the league and we came up here looking two points. We knew it would be a big ask as they were bringing some serious quality back after Tyrone.”

That quality told down the home straight, with the likes of Mattie Donnelly, Ciarán Daly and Rory Brennan helping Trillick to quell the Plunketts resistance and see out the victory.

McElholm admitted that the Reds showed in the last 15 minutes why they are top dogs in Tyrone right now.

“They are not county champions for nothing. You know what you are going to get with them. They manage the ball so well. They are so good in possession. Once you give them the ball it is really hard to get it off them again. They are experienced too and know when to take the sting out of it and know when to let you chase them. I thought they managed that game out really well.”

Pomeroy have their fair share of class campaigners themselves and former Footballer of the Year McGeary lit up the night with five points- including three wonderful efforts from open play- before his early departure. Frank Burns also imposed his quality on the contest at times. The manager acknowledged that it was a real positive to have them back in the club fold.

“It’s bittersweet for the lads because Tyrone are out but no doubt it’s great for us to have Kieran and Frank back.

“You saw the quality they bring to us out there, in terms of class and leadership. Looking ahead to the rest of the campaign they are obviosuly going to be crucial for us.

“We haven’t the biggest squad in the Division so county men like that are a big plus to have coming back into the mix.”

While Pomeroy have given themselves a solid platform during the first third of the league programme to build upon, McElholm wasn’t getting carried away.

“We have Clonoe now next week who came up with us from Intermediate and that will be another test of our progress.

“We have started the league fairly well and the results as well as the performances have been positive. But there is no way you can afford to switch off or become complacent.

“There is still a long way to go and a lot of points to scrap for. We know we just have to keep at it every week because you are playing quality teams.”

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