Letterkenny Rovers defender is latest Player of the Month
Paul Boyle says that Letterkenny Rovers have to put silverware on the table this season.
Rovers have narrowed the gap to leaders Cockhill Celtic at the top of the 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League table and Eamon McConigley’s charges are in a Knockalla Caravans Senior Cup semi-final against Greencastle FC.
Last season, Rovers watched as Cockhill won the League while Cockhill won the League Cup final between the two. And while Rovers reached the FAI Intermediate Cup final, they were well beaten, 5-0, by Crumlin United.
“We have to go out and get something,” said Boyle, who was named as the Watson Menswear Player of the Month for March 2017.
Paul Boyle being presented with his prize by Ulster Senior League Registrar Jason Gibson
“We have no trophies to show for the last two years.
“We need to try and win the Knockalla. We won’t have it easy in Greencastle, but with the players we have we should be winning trophies.
“We left a final behind us, losing aganst Derry in the League Cup semi, but we just need to get silverware on the table.”
Boyle netted a goal in the 2-1 win over Drumoghill in the Knockalla Cup quarter-final and has been a real tower of strength at the heart of the Rovers rearguard.
He said: “I had to add some goals. The gaffer was mentioning that to me that I needed to score a couple. I’ve done that and hopefully there’ll be a few more.
“I had a suspension and one or two niggles before Christmas, but I’ve been playing every game since. I’m enjoying training and I’m as fit as I’ve ever been.”
Boyle’s season, then, is a personification of Rovers’ campaign. They looked out of the reckoning at the end of 2016, but Cockhill’s slip has given Rovers some hope.
Boyle said: “We slipped up with silly draws. Hopefully they won’t come back and bite us, but we can’t look for excuses.
“Since the turn of the year we have definitely picked it up. The results before Christmas might affect us, but we’re still in the mix with three games to go.
“The pressure is on Cockhill. We have a slightly tougher run-in, but they have to go and win their three games.
“Hopefully we can take it to the last day of the season anyway. We just have to make sure we do the business ourselves.”
On Sunday, Rovers defeated Cockhill 2-1 at the Charlie O’Donnell Sports Grounds with Darren McElwaine scoring twice after Gerard McLaughlin opened the scoring.
Boyle said: “There was a great buzz around training before Cockhill.
“It was a big, senior game. It’s physical. You have to mix it up. We were chomping at the bit for them. There aren’t enough of those type of games in the League.”
Boyle was actually playing Gaelic football with Naomh Muire when Rovers came calling, though he had previously played with his native Keadue Rovers.
He said: “I was playing a bit of Gaelic so I didn’t get the full season last year. I came into Rovers and I loved it. It’s spiralled from then, but I’m really enjoying it.”
The Watson Menswear Player of the Month is presented in conjunction with Watson Menswear, Main Street, Letterkenny.
September: Cathal Farren (Derry City Reserves)
October: Peter Doherty (Cockhill Celtic)
November: Shaun McElwaine (Fanad United)
January: Tony McNamee (Swilly Rovers)
February: Oisin McColgan (Cockhill Celtic)
March: Paul Boyle (Letterkenny Rovers)