GAA Football

Cormac O'Hagan's lauds Coalisland's unbreakable spirit

Coalisland's Plunkett Kane and Shane Hughes with Edendork's Niall Morgan. Cormac O'Hagan says the side is in a good place ahead of Sunday's final with Killyclogher

COALISLAND'S Blues Brothers will call the tune in Sunday’s LCC Tyrone SFC final, according to Cormac O’Hagan.

The Fianna centre forward says an unbreakable spirit of togetherness has carried the team through to the O’Neill Cup decider.

And he’s certain that unity will play a major part in their bid to deny Killyclogher at Healy Park.

Through a series of tight games, Coalisland have found a way to finish on the right side of a marginal outcome, negotiating a journey that has helped the players build a trust in each other.

“Thankfully this year it showed that we work together and we work for each other, and no matter what, we can always get over the line,” said O’Hagan.

“It’s this Fianna kind of thing that you’d die for each other, you’re brothers, and you’ve got to do whatever it takes for the blue jersey, and to get the win.”

Two of their three games have been won by a single point, the other by a two points margin, and while there is some concern that the men from Fr Peter Campbell Park have been unable to dominate games, they have proven that they possess the necessary mentality to survive in precarious situations.

“It’s championship football, and all you really want is to be in the next round, and if you were giving us the chance to walk away with a one point win, we would definitely be taking it.

“But we have shown serious grit and determination, and we have a never-say-die attitude that we have developed over this last number of years.”

O’Hagan was involved as a teenager in Coalisland’s last appearance in the decider, also against Killyclogher, when they lost a replay two years ago, crashing to a 14 points defeat after missing their chance to clinch a riveting drawn game.

“It was extremely disappointing. If we were still playing Killyclogher from that night, we’d still be that far behind.

“Everything seemed to go their way that night. I think their stats coming out of the game was that they had 22 shots and 20 points.

“But credit to them where credit’s due. They had put in a lot of work, they were beaten in the final the year before. A lot of teams would have let the had go and not come back, but they bounced back the next year and were fully deserved champions that year.

“A lot of boys will be feeling that they need to right a lot of wrongs from 2016, and feeling that this is one that they can’t let slip away this time.”

Two years ago, he missed out on a starting place for the final, but in the meantime, O’Hagan has worked hard on his game, and the quality of his finishing, from play and placed balls, has helped him nail down a regular place in the team.

“I played a few of the league games and came on in the semi-final against Clonoe, and then I started the replay against Clonoe, but didn’t start the final.

“It was very disappointing when we got there and I wasn’t part of the starting team.

“You were training all year, and wondering why you weren’t making it.

“I was young, I had only turned 19 at the time, and in two years, I think I have grown up a lot and matured a bit.

“And I have put the head down this year, trained hard, and we’re in a county final and I’ll get to run out and represent the club.”

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