GAA Football

Dark days of our club inspired us to Ulster victory says St Enda's skipper James McAuley

St Enda's captain James McAuley raises the McCully Cup in triumph.Pic Philip Walsh.
Andy Watters

THE dark days of murder and mayhem their club endured throughout the Troubles inspired the St Enda’s players to Saturday night’s historic Ulster Intermediate Championship triumph said a delighted team captain James McAuley.

A composed footballing display earned Glengormley’s Antrim champions a deserved four-point win over Mullahoran and McAuley says Naomh Eanna’s class of 2018 now hope to leave a lasting sporting legacy that will inspire future generations.

“The history of the club is something that we took inspiration from and there is a group of lads here now who want to create their own history and move on from that,” he said.

“We want to inspire the next generation and bring the club to a new level.”

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With the McCully Cup in his hands, McAuley was mobbed by supporters young and old after his club became only the third from Antrim to win an Ulster title and the first at intermediate level.

The Queen’s student added: “Unbelievable is the only word that can describe this.

“We’ve worked hard all year and I think we deserve to be where we are now.

“Mullahoran are a great side, they didn’t have an easy route to get here and you have to applaud them for the character they showed out there – not only tonight but in their last two games.

“We knew they shown great character and we knew they were going to have one or two purple patches so it was a case of weathering that storm and getting our own scores to break their momentum and get control of the game again.”

Next for St Enda’s is an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Connacht representatives, Spiddal from Galway.

“I said before the game that, if we won, the magnitude of it wouldn’t sink in until a couple of weeks down the line,” said McAuley.

“I think that will be the case but to see everybody out on pitch is just unbelievable. “Hopefully this win inspires the next generation to come through and we’re not finished yet, we have an All-Ireland semi-final to come through and we will be well prepared for it.”

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