AFTER AIDING FINN HARPS in last week’s heroic play-off win against Limerick FC, Matthew Crossan returns to Naomh Colmcille colours tonight when they face Carndonagh in a promotion-relegation play-off.
Crossan became an integral member of the Harps panel this year, culminating in last Friday’s 2-0 extra-time win over Limerick that has fired them back to the Premier Division.
As a result of his commitments to Harps, Crossan was unavailable for Naomh Colmcille’s memorable run to the All-Sports Intermediate Football Championship final, where they lost heavily to Bundoran.
But the Killea man, fresh from one play-off exploit, returned to training at Pairc Colmcille this week and can be expected to feature in tonight’s game in Convoy (throw-in 8pm).
Naomh Colmcille have had a poor League campaign in Division 3 and a win last weekend against Downings wasn’t enough to keep them out of the play-off.
“It’s vital that we stay in Division 3 so we need the heads to be right – this is nearly as important as the Championship final,” Naomh Colmcille manager Francie Martin said.
“Matthew was back with us this week. We would have loved to have had him for the Championship, but it just wasn’t to be.”
Oran Hilley is carrying a slight hamstring injury and Ryan McErlean remains inhibited by the groin injury that prevented him from lining out against Bundoran on a day when Naomh Colmcille’s dreams were dashed.
“That defeat was hard to take,” Martin said. “It wasn’t just the fact that we got beaten, but it was that we got beaten so badly it kind of wrekced morale.
“We have played Burt and Downings since in the League so that has helped us to get back on track.”
Carndonagh have been kicking their heels since losing a Championship quarter-final to these opponents almost two months ago.
They welcome midfielders Ryan Kelly and Cathal O’Kane back for tonight’s play-off, although Eanna Newton and Keith Norris remain absent.
“There has been a lot of sitting about so it’s hard to know what to expect,” Carndonagh boss Kieran Canny said.
“The lads have stuck at it, in fairness to them, but nothing beats playing games and we haven’t had one of those since September.
“We’re looking forward to getting the season over with as much as anything else.
“We have done as much as we can. The boys feel that a ten-point defeat was harsh that night we played Naomh Colmcille in the Championship so hopefully we can close the gap a bit this time.”Tags: