Connaghan targets Cup progress as Rovers head to The Moss
It has been a ‘strange season’, as Christy Connaghan describes it, but the Gartan man is hopeful that Letterkenny Rovers can still add some silverware.
After the dizzying heights of last season, when Rovers reached the FAI Intermediate Cup final, it has been a topsy-turvy campaign this time around for the Leckview Park residents.
On Sunday, the 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League race got a little tighter as Rovers made significant ground, with a 3-0 win over Bonagee and Cockhill’s 2-0 defeat to Derry reducing the gap to six points.
The League quest takes a bit of a backseat this weekend.
On Sunday, Rovers face reigning Donegal League champions Drumoghill in a Knockalla Caravans Senior Cup quarter-final, hoping to avoid slipping on the same banana skin as last year.
Then, a Pajo Rafferty hat-trick saw Drumoghill shock the Cathedral Town side, who had gone 2-0 up with goals by Steve Okakpu-Emeka and Terence Shields.
“We weren’t happy with our performances last year against Drumoghill and we owe them one, I guess,” Connaghan says.
“We didn’t underestimate them – it was more a case of us not being ruthless enough.
“We knew they were a good team and they were in great form going into that match. We had chances that we didn’t take and Drumoghill, in fairness, siezed theirs and closed the game out. We were just caught a little cold.
“It’s a huge game for us at the weekend. It’ll hopefully take us a step closer to getting our hands on some silverware this season.”
The 26-year-old joined Rovers in the winter of 2015 having been at Kilmacrennan Celtic.
The former Finn Harps midfielder has become a key cog in Eamon McConigley’s wheel since putting pen to paper.
The door remains ajar in the bid to halt Cockhill’s march, but Connaghan isn’t getting ahead of himself.
“I don’t know if the title race has opened up that much to be honest. Cockhill are still in a great position to lift the trophy again. We’ll just keep the heads down and you never know what might happen. It’ll take a fair bit of luck for it to turn around for us now.
“It’s been a strange season for us. We’ve lost some very experienced players from last season. Some of those men carried us through a lot of games and it was always going to take a wee bit of time to gel.
“It’s been difficult at times to get a consistent 11 out week-in, week-out. Hopefully we can get some silverware on board.
“I’m going out on a limb here but, if not all, then most of the games this season we could have easily been a few goals up in, but we’ve had lapses of concentration or wee individual mistakes that have cost us dearly. We’ll have to improve on that if we’re to lift any silverware.
“There’s still plenty to play for.”
Sunday, March 12
Knockalla Caravans Senior Cup, Quarter-Finals
Clonmany Shamrocks v Glengad United
Drumoghill FC v Letterkenny Rovers
Glenea United v Cockhill Celtic
Derry City Reserves v Greencastle FC