Tullycarnet make a statement with emphatic win over Temple Rangers
By Martin Mawhinney
Tullycarnet joint manager Jimmy Birch believes his side delivered their greatest statement of intent yet by thumping Temple Rangers 8-0 at the weekend.
The Division 2B leaders have had the perfect start to the league campaign, winning all six of their opening fixtures to make it a promising debut since their promotion from 2C last year.
Yet this victory could hardly have been more signicant. For not only was it the greatest ever margin they have won by this season, but it also came against the team that were the division’s front-runners prior to Saturday.
A delighted Birch remarked: “That was the best we have played this season. I just told the lads they had proved a point against a good St Luke’s side last weekend, but they had to do it all over again on Saturday.
“Next week, we play against Drumbo, who are bottom of the league with no points, and I know there is no chance of us taking them lightly. The attitude of our boys has been fantastic.
“I am really happy with how the new signings like Colin Callagher, Davy Hume, Michael Rea and Jonthan Houston have settled in. Then you have an experienced captain in John Douglas, who has played for Rangers and Linfield.”
Suddenly it becomes clear why the Division 2C champions have had such an impact in little over a year within the Amateur League.
There are plenty more reasons beside too.
“We have great facilities at the Hanwood Centre,” Birch continued. “My joint managers Stan Kinnier and Paul Campbell are also a big draw for local players as they are well-liked and well-known within our community.
“We have a real family feel here, as you can see with the three brothers, James, Thomas and Davy Gorman who play for us, as well as David Ferguson and his son, also called David.”
One of the Gorman brothers in particular grabbed the headlines from Saturday’s mammoth win, with James netting a total of four times.
The other goals came from Michael Rea (2), Davy Hume and Gareth Robbins.
The question facing Tullycarnet now is: just how long can they keep this impressive winning streak running?
Understandably, it’s not a topic Birch is rushing to discuss. He just wants to enjoy things as they are, and take each game as it comes.
The joint Tullycarnet boss stated: “I wouldn’t want to comment on that. It’s a decent league, and you have teams like Ardoyne WMC and Bangor YM picking up.
“But we are aiming to win the title this year. When the three of us took over last year, we said we had a five year plan, and that are aim in that time was to follow the likes of Immaculata and Crumlin Star up through the leagues.
“When you look at how things are going for us, and the players we have been attracting, I really don’t see why we can’t.”
If they continue in this rich vein of form, Birch and his Comrades may be hard pushed to find anyone who will disagree with his positive sentiments.