By Niall Gartland
LOUGHMACRORY coach Luke Barrett was hugely complimentary of the commitment of his players in the wake of their derby win over Killyclogher last Friday night.
St Teresa’s have now won all four of their Division One matches to date, an impressive statistic reflected in the fact they sit top of the table on scoring difference ahead of Dromore and Carrickmore.
It’s a sign of how far they have come in recent seasons (they were a kick of the ball away from Carrickmore in last year’s Senior Championship quarter-final) and Luke Barrett, who is also manager of the Donegal minor team, has praised the application and heart of the lads who are doing the business on the pitch.
“It was a big step up against Killyclogher so I’m delighted for them. The lads are training well and there’s a real commitment to each other to be the best they can be.
“I thought we were the better team [against Killyclogher] even if we didn’t play to our full potential. It’s a massive result for us and I’m delighted for them.
“They’re an ambitious group and you have the experience of Ciaran [Meenagh] on the line, what he’s done with Derry has been outstanding and that brings a level of confidence to the group as well.”
Loughmacrory have bolstered their panel this season with the addition of former minor stars Eoin McElholm and Eoin Donaghy, and it’s fair to say the future looks very bright indeed, as Barrett acknowledged.
“There’s a lot of young lads on the panel mixed in with players who have a good bit of experience at this stage, so it’s an exciting time for the club.
“The age profile is definitely favourable but the big thing for me is the commitment of the players, they want to be here, they want to be playing for Loughmacrory and giving it everything, and that’s huge for us.”
It wasn’t all plain-sailing against Killyclogher. They claimed a hard-earned 2-6 to 0-10 victory but left themselves open to a late suckerpunch, and although it didn’t transpire, Barrett believes they could’ve put the game to bed earlier in the contest.
“If you look at the game, we were a bit cautious for about a 15-minute spell after the break. I thought we were much the better team but held onto the ball a bit long at times and were a bit cautious given any time we really went at them, we looked like scoring. Winning the game is the most important thing but we were four points up at a stage and probably should’ve tagged on a few more, and that’s the learnings we’ll take from it ahead of next week’s game against Eglish.
“We’re going well but we know Tyrone club football is an absolute minefield so we’re taking it one game at a time, we’re mindful of the fact it’s an extremely competitive division but we definitely can’t complain with how it’s gone to date.”