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Kilcoo hold on for first Ulster title

 

At last: Kilcoo joint captains Conor Laverty (left) and Aidan Branagan with Caelan McEvoy (centre)
At last: Kilcoo joint captains Conor Laverty (left) and Aidan Branagan with Caelan McEvoy (centre)
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

Down club Kilcoo finally clinched their first Ulster club title in Omagh yesterday, with a 2-11 to 2-9 win over Donegal representatives Naomh Conaill.

While this was the first Ulster club success for a Down side since 1988, it wasn't new to Kilcoo manager Mickey Moran.

He made the switch from Derry's Slaughtneil a the end of last year after leading them to three Ulster wins in his four seasons there.

Now taking Kilcoo to the title they craved adds to the phenomenal achievements of Moran, unparalleled in provincial club competition.

In Moran, Kilcoo finally got the man needed to make them ice-cold in heated situations, much like the work he did with Slaughtneil.

His assistant Conleith Gilligan spoke glowingly of work carried on within the club prior to their arrival.

"We knew coming in that we were starting off a very strong base. The work that Jim McCorry and Paul McIver had done before really set the thing up," he said.

"Unluckily they came up short but today it would be remiss not to talk about the good work other people have done because it would be easy to take the credit now."

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