MAGHERACLOONE joint-manager James Kierans says the club are determined to bounce back after an extremely taxing 2018.
First of all, they lost their facilities in September after part of a disused mine collapsed, leaving the club’s grounds, community centre and pitch completely out of bounds.
Then less than a month after the giant sinkhole appeared, Magheracloone were relegated from the senior league in Monaghan, so it wasn’t exactly a season to remember even though they did make the semi-finals of the championship.
They’ve had to avail of neighbouring clubs’ facilities so far this year, prompting Kierans to quip that they are like the “Harlem Globetrotters” at the moment, but despite the inconvenience they presently sit top of the table in the Intermediate league after six matches.
“We’re lucky enough that we have neighbouring clubs in other counties because of where we sit geographically.
“We got quite a bit of assistance from Sean McDermott’s in Louth, Kingscourt and Shercock in Cavan, and we struck a deal with Annaghminnon Rovers where we get use of their pitch when they’re not using it.
“The club has a temporary training facility developed which will cater for training. We’re waiting for sign off on insurance so can’t use it for the next week or so, but hopefully it will be resolved.
“We’ll still be playing our home games in Annaghminnon. Everything is out of use really and we won’t have access to the old pitch again.”
Magheracloone posted their latest win when they overcame Monaghan Harps at the weekend on a scoreline of 1-17 to 1-13.
Like all of their matches to date, five points were on offer for the victors, and their manager James Kierans says it was crucial they avoided another poor start to the season.
“If you don’t get enough points on the board in those five-point games you’re left playing catch up. You have to win an awful lot of two-point games to make up for it.
“We only won five-point game last year in the early part of the season, which left us trying to catch up with other teams.
“At the back end of the season, results can be unpredictable and unfortunately we caught got out and were relegated Hopefully we’ll build and come back stronger.”
Relegation was a major disappointment considering they reached the senior championship final in 2017 before losing last year’s semi-final to Scotstown.
Kierans says bouncing back to the senior league is their main priority this year.
“We were in the senior final two years ago and the semi-final last year, but the bread and butter stuff is the league.
“We felt we needed to be consistent but having said that not all the performances have been perfect.
“We definitely haven’t been running away with games, they’ve all been very competitive. While the actual performances have been patchy, I can’t fault the attitude of the players.
“They’ve dug out results when it’s still in the melting pot with 10 minutes to go and I’d be happy with that.”