By Niall Gartland
DEFENDING Division One champions Carrickmore are off to a winning start in Division One, but their joint-manager Noel Hurson knows it’s way too early to get carried away.
They afforded senior kingpins Dromore a guard of honour before last Friday evening’s league clash, but once the action got underway there was nothing held in reserve from either team.
Carmen edged matters by 1-12 to 1-10, and deservedly so as they performed exceedingly well, but there’s a long way to go with four players on each team currently committed to the senior intercounty footballer panel (Carrickmore hurlers Ruairi Slane and Oran McKee were also absent as they lined out in Tyrone’s successful Nickey Rackard Cup final win on Saturday).
Hurson, who is back in charge of the team for another year with joint-manager Ryan Daly, was particularly impressed by his side’s work-rate against Dromore with players like Lorcan McGarrity, Ruairi Loughran and others dropping back to help the defence in the second-half.
“They worked very hard and that was key to the win. The young lads really dug deep and that showed. You couldn’t single out a player who didn’t put in the work, they worked very hard. Dromore always present a good challenge and we all saw that when they won the county championship, but our lads showed up well, thank God.”
Carrickmore haven’t won the senior championship since claiming the back-to-back in 2004 and 2005. It’s a long time for a club of their stature but they have had tasted recent success at underage level, with one of those young footballers, Daniel Fullerton, scoring a tremendous individual goal against Dromore last weekend. Winning the Division One league title was a considerable boost at the tail-end of last year, and the championship is the ultimate ambition, but for now Hurson says it’s about bringing players through to the team.
“We’re not looking at anything bigger at present. Since we came in we said we were going to develop players and help them come through, and it’s the same again this year.
“The club works very hard as a whole, right up to senior level, and we’re not looking any further than our next day out.”
Carrickmore have four players on the Tyrone team – their captain Rory Donnelly, Sean Loughran, and first cousins Cormac and Jonathan Munroe. They aren’t nailed-on starters for Tyrone, but Hurson says that’s not his business.
“That’s not my job to worry about, we just look after our duties. The county won the All-Ireland and we just focus on ourselves, and I’m sure the boys will be ready to go whenever they do come back.”