Tuesday, 21 November 2017

MULHOLLLAND’S DRIVE thumbnail SHANE Mulholland’s Rostrevor side are one game away from being crowned Ulster Champions for the first time.

IF a week is a long time in politics then a season is equally long in sport but for Rostrevor it has been worthwhile.

On Sunday they will be an hour of football away from being crowned Ulster Champions for the first time in their history, when they face Moy of Tyrone.

At the start of the year the Intermediate Championship was something the Reds didn't belong to - at least that was their mind-set.

It was Bredagh's unexpected Intermediate Championship Final win over An Riocht in 2016, which gave the Belfast side the right to replace fourth-placed Rostrevor in the Senior Championship this year.

And while the Reds are sitting pretty now, Rostrevor boss Shane Mulholland explained that the season wasn't always over, especially after the Division Two League defeat to bottom-placed St Colman's Drumaness on Friday, May 26.

"That was a dark, dark day, probably the darkest day as I have ever had in football," said Mulholland.

"From sitting on the line thinking that my message is going nowhere and I was seeing no progress and then question myself if I was making any inroads.

"That's how I felt after that game. We had a team-meeting after that and it was one of those where people were giving sound-bites but there was no desire to fix it and that was a dark day compared to where be where we are now.

"And I suppose that is why football is great and why we love it because we can have a better day and another better day, so we are in a great place now and we are really looking forward to it.

"To lose that game and then a few months down the road, to be sitting at looking at an Ulster Final.

"So I've told the guys to go out and grab it." Rostrevor face Tyrone's Moy. Sean Cavanagh and his brother Colm are their marquee players and Mulholland has plans for them.

But the Reds have plenty of talent too.

Caolan Mooney turned down the chance to represent Ireland in the International Rules and has bags of potential.

Shaun Parr oozes composure whichever position he plays, Johnny Connelly has proved to be one of the best corner-backs in the county with his performances this season, while Conor Doyle is their main scorer.

For much of the campaign it has been the collected effort more so than any particular star quality that has helped Rostrevor get this far but Mulholland accepts that there is much more potential in his side and hopes that can be unlocked against Moy on Sunday, "All year long some or all of the individuals have played their part for 20 minutes here and there, but they haven't played together on the same day at the one time," Mulholland said.


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