Cockhill Celtic created yet more history on Sunday as they became the first Inishowen club to win three Ulster Senior League titles with their 3-2 win over Letterkenny Rovers at Leckview Park.
Donal O’Brien’s side claimed the Intermediate crown with a game to spare thanks to a hat trick from striker Garbhan Friel and avoided a potential title showdown with Derry City on the last day of the season.
If they can avoid defeat in that last game at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds, Cockhill will have finished a second successive league season unbeaten – a remarkable achievement in the hyper competitive division.
Consistency has been the name of the game for Celtic who have now won the league title three times in five years, finishing runners up on the other two years and they will now aim to complete a second successive double when they play Swilly Rovers back in Leckview in the League Cup Final this Saturday.
“This achievement has been a credit to the boy's work rate and I’m delighted for them,” Donal O’Brien told the Inish Times after the game.
“I thought we didn’t get going in the first half but in the second half we played much better and could have ended up winning by a few goals.
“I always feel that when we aren’t too far off teams, either level or a goal down, we know we can pick it up and do what we need to do to win games. A lot of that is down to our fitness, I was concerned earlier in the season that we were tired after playing through the winter but we rose to the challenge in the summer and those fitness levels stood to us.
“We’ll go and enjoy the celebrations tonight but we’ll be back in training on Tuesday and Thursday with the league cup final to look forward to next weekend. The team will change as Conor Carlin is cup tied but it’s an opportunity for someone else.”
By Johnny Craig
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.