Marsden pleased as senior status secured for Clan na Gael

By Shaun Casey

CLAN na Gael secured their senior status last weekend with important wins over Grange (Friday) and Mullaghbawn (Sunday) and that was always the goal according to manager Diarmaid Marsden.

“They were two big matches and I suppose there’s no easy matches in this division because you’re playing seasoned teams like the Grange, like Mullaghbawn who have played senior football now for two or three years and know what’s expected.

“This is our first year in Division 1B in a long time and we’ve had some results that haven’tgonet our way and this was a big weekend to take us out of danger of relegation. For us, we want to secure senior football for next year and I think we’ve just about done that.”

A second half Shane McPartland goal sealed the deal as Clans saw off Mullaghbawn by three points. “It was a really tough battle; we didn’t play well but sometimes you’ve got to grind those matches out,” said the 2002 All-Ireland winner.

“In fairness to the boys, they seized their opportunity because things hadn’t been going well, we were five points down at one stage. From five points down to win by three is very, very pleasing.”

It’s still mathematically possible for the Lurgan men to gain promotion, but it’s an outside chance at best. For now, all focus will be on the championship as Clan na Gael prepare for their opening round clash against Carrickcruppen.

“Silverbridge are the favourites (for promotion), I know the result didn’t go their way on Friday night past but we’re just happy to secure senior football for next year and getting this level of preparation for championship which we didn’t get last year.

“We were playing in Division 2A so matches like this against Mullaghbawn and Grange are valuable to us and where we need to go and the preparation that’s required.

“We’re not happy with the way we played but we’re more than happy with the result.

“We’re in the business end of the season and hopefully we can get through the last few league matches, try a few things out, get a few returning injured players back to match fitness and prepare as best we can for Carrickcruppen.

“That’s where we want to be, there was a tough period in the middle there with injuries but we’re getting there slowly but surely.”

Clan na Gael defeated Carrickcruppen in their most recent league clash while the pair will also face each other in the last round of the league. The teams haven’t met in the senior championship since 2011 so it’ll be a new experience for both sets of players.

“We played them a few weeks ago in the league but it’s a total new team. There are a few old stages still playing from then but most of our team would be fairly young as well.

“Carrickcruppen came through the intermediate last year, and you don’t come through it without being a decent outfit and we’ll need to prepare diligently for them and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”


BOSS… Diarmaid Marsden’s Clan na Gael side secured their senior status last weekend

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