Championship football has the remarkable habit of throwing up the unexpected.
And Eoghan Rua, Coleraine are hoping that trend will continue this evening when they face Slaughtneil in a Derry senior football championship replay at Glenullin (7.00pm).
The last few years has seen the club make remarkable progress both on and off the pitch.
As well as the opening of their magnificent new playing facilities the club has matched that by making the transition from junior to senior ranks.
In 2009 the club won Division Two only for the County Board to make Divisions One and Two a single league.
It’s often said you reap what you sow and that is especially true in relation to Coleraine.
The nucleus of the current team can actually be traced back to a side that won a Derry B minor championship.
Barry McGoldrick, then only 15, scored 11 points in the final, six with his right foot.
In addition to Barry, Sean Leo (below) also plays for Derry as does Declan Mullan and his brother Kieran.
Manager Sean McGoldrick, formerly of St Teresa’s and Antrim, has worked wonders both in the development and progression of this young emerging side.
Slaughtneil, managed by former Derry player Damian Barton, won the Derry senior championship in 2004 and are backboned by county men Patsy Bradley and Francis McEldowney.
As always midfield will have a critical bearing on the game and it’s here Eoghan Rua will be determined to at least gain parity.
Slaughtneil for their part will be hoping that Patsy Bradley’s vast experience can tip the scales in their favour.
In the drawn match Eoghan Rua rocked Slaughtneil with two early goals and yet less than 10 minutes into the second half the latter reeled off five points without reply.
The teams then exchanged points for most of the second half before Gregory Bradley’s score deep into added time set up this evening’s replay.
Everything points to it just being as close again. For the winners the prize is a place in the the last eight.
The losers though have the consolation of a second chance if they come off second best.
Slaughtneil’s greater championship experience sees them start favourites to advance.