Belfast Telegraph

Dundela hoping to keep a hold of loan star McComb

By Keith Bailie

If anyone doubted Carl McComb's ability, the 21-year-old showed his worth on Christmas morning when he hit a hat-trick in the Steel & Sons Cup final.

McComb scored his 17th, 18th and 19th goals of the season as Dundela beat Immaculata 4-1 at Seaview. The treble sparked rumours that Glentoran might recall their loan star, but the student expects to finish the season at Wilgar Park.

“I'm enjoying playing first team football, so I'm happy with my circumstances,” McComb said.

“I've no idea if the Glens plan on calling me back. I see they've signed Curtis Allen, so that will give them a bit of firepower up front.

“When I signed for Dundela in August, it was a season long loan and that hasn't changed, so I'm concentrating on playing for the Duns.”

McComb is enjoying his football and that's been reflected in his performances. He hit six goals in the month of December and won the BT Sport NIFWA Player of the Month award.

A delighted McComb said: “It's nice to get a bit of recognition, as I've been playing well recently.

“December was a good month for Dundela, we won the Steel & Sons Cup and we progressed in the Intermediate Cup.

“At the start of the season, winning the Steel & Sons was a target we had set ourselves, so to achieve that was great for the whole club. Scoring a hat-trick in the final is something I will never forget, but it was a collective effort from the team.

“We want to push on now. We've got to keep plugging away in the league as we want to finish strongly.”

But it hasn't all been all plain sailing for Mark Snodden's men. The Duns have lost their last two league games, surrendering their place at the top of the Championship to Bangor.

Following their 2-0 defeat to Harland & Wolff Welders and their 5-3 loss to Ballyclare Comrades, McComb said: “The defeat to the Welders was disappointing, as they are our local rivals. It was the week before the cup final and I think that played on our minds a little.

“That was our first defeat of the season at our own level. Our only defeat prior to that was in the League Cup against Cliftonville at Solitude.

“I actually don't think it did us any harm, as it reminded us that we were going to have work to win the final and that nothing was going to come easy.

“The defeat to Ballyclare rams that message home. We're the team to beat and clubs will raise their game against us, so if we want to kick on and challenge for the title we need to raise our game again.”

With Bangor, Carrick Rangers, Dundela, Knockbreda, Institute and even Larne all in the running for the Belfast Telegraph Championship One title, McComb expects an exciting climax to the season.

“It's a tight league and a joy to be part of. When it comes to the Championship, you've a tough game every Saturday. Looking at the table, there are as many as six teams who could go on and win the league.

“At Dundela, we need to keep our focus and take each game as it comes. We want to give winning the title one big push at the end of the season.”

The Duns will just be pleased that it looks as if McComb will be their player until May.

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