BACK IN THE BIG TIME

Young Clann heroes making their own history!

Clann na nGael’s inspirational manager Paul Curran has backed his young team to “make their own history” as the Johnstown club finally returned to the summit of Roscommon football.

  Clann dominated the Roscommon and Connacht club scene for many years in the past, but nineteen years had elapsed since their last senior Roscommon title. That barren period ended on Sunday when they beat neighbours Padraig Pearses in a tense County Final in Dr Hyde Park (1-9 to 0-11).

  Curran described the game as a “cliffhanger” and acknowledged that Donie Shine’s goal was the crucial score.

  “We knew that Pearses would keep coming at us and thankfully we just got over the line. A goal was always going to be huge and so it proved. It gave us a bit of daylight and in the end we needed it.”

  Describing the reaction of Clann fans as “incredible,” Curran added: “I have never seen anything like it. It’s been a long time since this club have been in a final but they have a great tradition and we tried to tap into that this week in the run-up to the game. This team can go on and make their own history now. The semi-final win (against St. Brigid’s) was massive for us and we got great confidence from that. We are just thrilled and I am looking forward to the celebrations now! This is a great club and I’m so delighted for everyone involved.”

  His namesake Shane Curran brought Padraig Pearses to close in his first season as manager.

  He was philosophical at the full-time whistle.

  “When we were on top in the first half in particular we didn’t push on and we didn’t see the game out. We had chances to level it and we had a goal chance or two as well. But we cannot be too harsh on our lads. They have put in a tremendous effort out there and all year too and we have to say that the better team won out there today.

  “A number of things went against us on the day but that’s football. This bunch of lads have given the Pearses community a tremendous year by getting to this final and a lot of those players have a lot of football to play yet.

  “Some of them will go back to the county team and they will be a great asset to Roscommon for sure. We have to learn from this experience and come back stronger again next year.”

  Donie Shine, the Clann goalscorer, revealed that he was only about 70% right for the remainder of the game after pulling a muscle during the final.

 “It was a hell of a battle but we stuck at it and it came good in the end. With regard to the goal, Ultan (Harney) put in a great tackle and won the ball back and in fairness to him he put it on a plate for me. It was all about the team winning but it was nice to get the goal. I pulled a muscle early on and I was only at about 70% for the rest of the game but thank God I got through it. It’s fantastic to win the Fahey Cup and it’s a great feeling to finally get there. I’m absolutely delighted. The celebrations will be great over the next few days.”