Augher sent out a defiant message on Sunday that they won’t give up their place in senior football without a mighty fight.
The relegation-threatened St Macartan’s battled their way to a courageous win at Ardboe, but their survival still hangs on a play-off against Eglish.
Goals from Declan Connolly, Darragh Kavanagh, Patrick Treanor and Aidan McElroy gave the men from the Valley a 4-10 to 1-14 victory at the lough shore, and their interim management team are convinced that if they continue to display such heart and courage they will not make the drop.
“This club has been around for a long time and we are renowned for our fighting spirit and we’re not going to give up that easy,” said Barry Treanor, who, along with Damien McElroy and Brian McCaughey, has taken over since the departure of Colm Courtney.
“We’re still in with a shout and you saw that fighting performance there against a top team like Ardboe, in Ardboe. The effort today was first–class, you couldn’t fault them.
“So we’re not going down without a fight, we have no notion of going out of senior football.
“This group of players are going to stick together and I can guarantee you we’re going to give it a good rattle.”
Treanor contended that the loss of a rash of players weakened a squad that was never strong in numbers and had they been able to field at or near full-strength throughout the season they would not be facing a relegation dogfight.
“We haven’t got a break all year with injuries and emigration. We had to play three games in nine days and then nothing for nine weeks. That’s the county board’s problem, there’s nothing we can do about that.
“We don’t have the strength in depth of the bigger clubs. We’re working with a senior panel of 21 or 22, and when you have seven or eight boys out, you’re basically down to bare bones. At the start of the year when we had a full panel we were going really well, but then when we lost players we struggled to replace them, so that’s basically why we are where we are.”