“It was my own choice to pull out of the senior panel this year. But once I pulled out I said to everyone, family and friends, that I’m not leaving Eunan’s until I have an U-21 medal in my pocket. That was the big one for me.”
That was the reaction of St. Eunan’s captain, Lee McMonagle, after lifting the first U-21 championship for St. Eunan’s sincee 2003.
He agreed that it was touch and go but felt his side never felt they were out of the contest.
“Paddy (McBrearty) had some amazing scores there. We were seven points down at one stage. On another day we could have put the heads down and said game over. Not one man put his head down and we lifted it and thankfully we got there. We got a couple of important goals.
“Goals win games, especially in a game like that there, a tight game. You saw in the first half, we weren’t in it; then we got the goal and we were two points up. Then they got the goal and they were back in it at half-time,” said McMonagle, who wants to kick on now with the senior team.
“I’m 21 now. I might have 10 or 15 years; if I’m John Haran I might have another 25, at senior level.
“It was a great feeling to lift the trophy at minor level and I felt this year that this was my team. It’s like a family, the boys you have been playing with. Then there was the new boys like Conor Morrison, Odhran McGinley came out of the scene. Conor Morrison has been outstanding with the seniors this year and Odhran McGinley with this team along with the minors.
“It’s a great feeling. The one thing about us we never lie down. I said it before the game, Kilcar are going to have their patch; and they had theirs for quite a while in the second half and they went seven points clear.
“But I went around and told the boys individually, ‘our purple patch is coming’, ‘our purple patch is coming’. I was saying there was more in us,” said McMonagle, who paid a tribute to Conor Parke for making the vital run at the end.
“That Parky man, you’d do some laughing at him. He’d be sitting down there and talking to his own ‘keeper and two seconds later he’ll be up at the other end of the pitch scoring a goal,” said McMonagle.
“It has been a brilliant year for St. Eunan’s,” said the captain, who vowed to be back playing senior for the club in 2015.