By Shaun Casey
MOMENTUM is a huge thing in sport and Donaghmoyne are currently riding the crest of a wave after enjoying a memorable 2021. Mikey Murnaghan captained the Monaghan side to their first-ever league and championship double while the clubs u-19s also won the Division One Championship.
“That form that the u-19s had carried on in with us and gave us a lift and I suppose the confidence would be fairly high after those three victories,” said their full-back. “Now we’re going to be concentrating on Ulster, but we wanted to make sure we got over the line in the league as well.”
Donaghmoyne didn’t get much time to celebrate their championship success as focus instantly shifted to securing the double. “We went unbeaten in the league, so we wanted to finish the job off. We won the championship in 2016 and we weren’t able to win the league to do the double that time. The majority of the team was playing in 2016 and that was one thing we wanted to do, was to finish off the league this year.”
Sunday’s opponents Steelstown head into the clash with their own confidence, having got over Cloughaneely in the preliminary round of Ulster. “That game that Steelstown had will definitely stand to them,” said Murnaghan, a minor and under 21 Ulster winner with Monaghan. “Whenever you get into Ulster, you’re playing against the best team from each county so I would definitely think that would be an advantage for Steelstown.”
“We’ll be giving Steelstown total respect. We know that the Derry championship’s very tough every year and then to come through that and come through a strong Cloughaneely side, they’re going to be well up for it. We have to be on our game, the confidence would be high with us but it’s a new competition, we’re starting from the bottom, and we just have to get ourselves right.”
No doubt Donaghmoyne are looking forward to Sunday’s challenge. It provides the chance to rid a few ghosts of previous involvements in the provincial championship. “I mentioned 2016 already, that was the last time we won the championship and we got on a bit of a run in Ulster as well where we got to the final, but Pomeroy beat us.”
“The lads are still on about those days that we had; all the games were in Páirc Esler. We all really enjoyed them, it was a new experience that time. All those young u-19s that’s on the panel now, it’s great for them to be getting days like this as well, that will hopefully bring them on too.”
While all the focus has been on securing a historic double, Murnaghan now insists they can give Sunday’s tie their full attention.
“All our focus since we won the championship was to beat Emyvale in the league semi-final and to beat Killanny there at the weekend in the final. But now we’re going to put everything into trying to get over the line against Steelstown this weekend.”