DONEGAL GAA

PHOTO GALLERY: Michael Hegarty's appetite whetted for more as Kilcar celebrate greatest year in their history

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

Kilcar footballers enjoyed the best year ever in the club’s illustrious history last season by completing a league and championship double - the first ever for the South West giants.
And the club celebrated that success in fine style on Saturday night.
Over 600 club supporters, young and old, packed into the Blue Haven for the club's annual banquet and presentation dance.
Five time All-Ireland winner Aidan O’Mahony was up from Rathmore in Kerry and was the special guest along with Donegal Co secretary, Aideen Gillen.
“We had a great night,” said veteran Kilcar star and former county player, Michael Hegarty.
“400 people sat for the meal and possibly another 200 came in afterwards to make a great night of it.
“You need silverware nowadays for your dinner dance to attract a crowd like that. And I suppose after the year we had it was no great surprise that we had such a turnout.
“It was a great year and a massive achievement to win both and it was great to see young and and old celebrating and enjoying that success.
“Hopefully, the success we enjoyed will inspire more young people to achieve further success in the future.”
Kilcar impressed in Donegal and in their six games on the way to claiming the Dr Maguire Cup they overcame Gaoth Dobhair, Ardara, Glenswilly, Bundoran, St Michael’s and Naomh Conaill.
Their average winning margin over the six games was eight plus points with a 15 point semi-final win over St Michael’s.
They had 11 points to spare at the end of their quarter-final clash with Bundoran.
And in the group stages they ran out three point winners over Gaoth Dobhair in their opening game back in May before seeing off Ardara by 12 points and Glenswilly by seven points in the other two group games.
And Michael Hegarty and company raised a few eyebrows in Ulster with a ten point win over a fancied Scotstown from Monaghan.
And there was no shame in their six point defeat to three time Derry champions, Slaughtneil, in the semi-final.
Kilcar led that game by a point - 0-8 to 0-7 - at half-time before being undone by two second half Slaughtneil goals.
But appetites were whetted and none more so than that of the veteran of the team Michael Hegarty.
Hegarty turns 39 in May and the good news for blue and gold supporters is the former county man is going to stay on for at least one more season.
“At this stage, given the year we had in 2017, it would be hard not to continue playing.
“We have everybody back from last year and we have a number of very good young footballers coming through from underage.
“We know we are going to be competitive and when you are competitive in the championship you always have a chance.”
“I don’t know what Barry Doherty (manager) is doing but I suspect he will stay on after the year we had last year. It would be hard for Barry to walk away too,” said Hegarty who thanked the team sponsors Blue Haven, John Joe's and Atomic Hair Design.
Veteran Hegarty was also greatly encouraged by Kilcar’s performance in Ulster for the first time in 24 seasons, albeit it ended in defeat to Slaughtneil.
“When you reflect back on the Slaughtneil game you realise that we were not far away from Slaughtneil.
“The performance against Slaughtneil, who are a brilliant club team, was very encouraging and bodes well for the future.
“I know there was six points in it at the finish. But if we had taken our chances we could have been a lot closer.
“The big difference was they took their goal chances and we didn’t.
“The difference between winning and losing is always a fine line and more often than not a lot closer than a final scoreline might suggest.”