MORE success in the Ulster Club is very much in the bonus territory category for Newtownstewart as they continue to celebrate their memorable Tyrone Junior win on Sunday evening.
There was no doubting the joy for the St Eugene’s as the final whistle sounded on a 1-12 to 1-10 win over Beragh. Victory earned them a fifth county title in the grade, following on the previous triumphs in 1951, 1996 and 2009.
It was also a particularly satisfying conclusion to the campaign for team manager, Martin McNulty. He is, of course, the son of Palor, who has previously enjoyed notable championship and league with a number of different clubs, including the vanquished Red Knights.
Now the next generation in the form of Martin is looking forward to the new challenges ahead.
“We looked at the start of the year to get past the first round of the Tyrone championship and now we’ve ended up going to the final and winning it,” he said afterwards.
“Everybody is taking a few days off and then we’ll start thinking about what we want to do. This team has achieved our target and anything now is a bonus.
“There’s a good buzz about Newtown and the place can now look forward to a few nights partying. We’re taking a week off and then starting thinking about Ulster.
“The club in Newtown, similar to Beragh, have come through a lot what with the floods and all the adversity that went on. It’s great to bring the trophy back after all that happened.”
Tyrone teams have, of course, regularly made their mark in the Ulster Club Junior and Intermediate championships. This will be a second appearance in the competition for Newtown, although their first in 2009 didn’t exactly fulfil expectations.
Now, though, there may well be a renewed determination to progress and they’ll be following in illustrious footsteps if they can manage to go on a run.
Greencastle became the first team from the county to win the All-Ireland at this level a decade ago and there’s every reason for Newtownstewart to have confidence in their ability to repeat the feat in 2018.
For the moment all the focus is on reflecting on that victory over Beragh and the key factors which eventually earned them the success.