Scotstown want to go a step further than 2015 Ulster final appearance says Rory Beggan
MONAGHAN champions Scotstown go into this year’s Ulster Club series determined to “go one better” than 2015, when they lost the final says goalkeeper Rory Beggan.
The ‘An Bhoth’ outfit convincingly saw off Magheracloone in their county decider at Clones last Sunday to complete three in-a-row in Monaghan and they now set their sights on an Ulster quarter-final clash with Donegal champions Kilcar.
“We don’t want to limp in and go out straight away,” said Beggan.
“We were in an Ulster final two years ago and we want to get back there and go one better.
“It’s not easy to go from county to Ulster level, it’s about getting out of that mode that you’re happy with your club championship.
“We’re delighted to win our county championship but we need to make that push, our supporters expect more and we expect more of ourselves. We have a new management in now who are taking a new look at it and hopefully we can make strides that way.”
Beggan was part of the side that lost a titanic struggle against Crossmaglen in the 2015 Ulster decider. Last season Down’s Kilcoo shaded a preliminary round encounter, but Scotstown booked a return to the provincial scene after recording the club’s third three in-a-row run in Monaghan.
“Three in-a-row didn’t cross our mind when we came into this game, we just wanted to get another title,” Beggan insisted.
“There are a lot of new players here and a new manager (Fermanagh native Kieran Donnelly) and they were going for their first. But to think about it now, it does feel good to have three in-a-row and four out of the last five.
“We’ll just keep playing our football and look forward to a tough Ulster club game in two weeks.”
With Beggan, Conor McCarthy, Shane Carey and the Hughes brothers, Darren and Kieran, all unavailable due to county commitments, it was Scotstown’s unsung heroes who steered the side into the Monaghan final after several close calls along the way.
“That’s been the case all year,” said Beggan.
“There were times that we haven’t been able to play because we’ve been with the county and the boys have kept the thing going, winning league games… We have a tight-knit squad and the boys have put in an awful amount of work this year to get here. Thankfully it is bearing fruit.”
Beggan landed three points from placed balls in Sunday’s win and also made three excellent saves to keep Magheracloone at bay. At the other end of the field, talented forward Conor McCarthy was outstanding and finished the game with 1-8 to his credit.
“He was top class and that’s Conor all over,” said Beggan.
“Conor was struggling a wee bit with an injury but he showed no ill-effects of it today. Thankfully he was on form and 1-8 in any game is brilliant, but on county final day is outstanding.
“We’re just glad to have him fit.”
McCarthy’s second half goal killed off a determined challenge from a Magheracloone side that might have caused an upset had they been able to take two of the four goal chances they created.
“It was anything but easy,” said Beggan.
“The scoreboard probably flattered us at the end but it definitely wasn’t easy and we expect that from Magheracloone, they’re a neversaydie team and we just had that bit of quality up front.
“When we had our chances we took them and thankfully the boys put the goals in the back of the net which was the difference at the end of it.”