PROMOTION back to senior ranks for the first time in more than a decade is the target now well within reach for Loughmacrory as their season reaches its climax t0day.
It has been a journey which the St Teresa’s will feel could have been completed a few weeks ago. But, with the defeat to Beragh put firmly behind them, they are ready to challenge again for the Division One spot.
They will now take on Eglish in the Promotion play-off final this lunchtime at Killeeshil. While they are well aware of the stiff challenge which will be presented by the St Patrick’s, there’s also a determination to make the most of this opportunity.
These play-off matches have traditionally provided a high level of entertainment and the task facing the St Teresa’s is to show that the Intermediate teams are again more than capable of making their mark.
This will be the final adult competitive fixture in Tyrone this year and promises to be another close-fought contest. Midfielder, Shane Grimes, was among their stalwarts in last Sunday’s win over Owen Roes. He’s hoping for more of the same as they prepare to finally take that big step up.
“The win over Owen Roes last Sunday was a good one for us because after losing to Beragh a few weeks ago it was tough to get back on track,” he said.
“We’ll go again now, we’ve Eglish up next and it’s going to be a challenge for us. After coming so close to winning promotion a few weeks ago, it was demoralising to then have to go into the play-offs.
“But the way that everybody on the team is looking at this is that it’s the same prize. The only difference is that we’re taking a different route and a bit longer.
“There’s as good a chance for us now against Eglish as there was when we needed the win against Beragh. They beat us fair and square, but thankfully we’ve got back on track since then with two wins and the target is for a third.”
Loughmacrory will hope to take a winning momentum into this weekend’s clash against the St Patrick’s, who had Conor McKenna on board for their most recent match.
He’s unlikely to feature again, but Loughmacrory will have no illusions about the task facing them no matter who the opposition team includes.
Instead, team manager, Gary Conway, and the players will be aiming to repeat some of the determination and commitment which saw them come from behind to defeat Owen Roes in last Sunday’s tie at Killyclogher.
They will also hope to have Tyrone U-20 player, Anton Fox back on board to boost their chances and it’s a game which they’ll be taking extremely seriously and approaching with confidence according to Shane Grimes.
“There was a ropey enough start against Owen Roes. They’re a very good side, but thankfully we came good at the finish and got over the line,” he added.
“We’re really looking forward to the Eglish game because ever since the play-offs started our aim has been to get to where we’re at now with one more game to go.
“The winning momentum will definitely make a difference for us. Everyone plays off victories, the mood in the camp is good, and when you win a game everything is good.
‘It’s about 10 years since we were last up senior. They have that experience of playing at senior level, but the reality is that this game is going to be another battle.
“We’re there trying to win promotion and they’ll be attempting to stay up. It’s going to be an interesting game and it’s definitely one that we’ll be wanting to win.”