Knocknacarra lose play-off but plenty still to play for

The Knocknacarra FC team beaten in the Division 2 title play-off. Back row, from left: Robert Shaw, Sean Cavanagh, Sean Keane, Ciaran O'Dwyer, Angus McDonnachada and Davey Knight. Front: Liam Keady, Alan Kilkelly, Alan Shaughnessy. Husan Sahid, Eddie Bennett and Dragan Calic. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.
The Knocknacarra FC team beaten in the Division 2 title play-off. Back row, from left: Robert Shaw, Sean Cavanagh, Sean Keane, Ciaran O'Dwyer, Angus McDonnachada and Davey Knight. Front: Liam Keady, Alan Kilkelly, Alan Shaughnessy. Husan Sahid, Eddie Bennett and Dragan Calic. Photos: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

Knocknacarra might have lost a play-off for the Division 2 title last Saturday, but they were already guaranteed promotion and in a good season they have already collected silverware when they defeated Dynamo Blues to win the Joe Ryan Cup.

That victory ended a decade without a trophy and on Sunday they will look to complete a seasonal cup double when they take on Killala in the Connacht Junior Shield final in Castlebar (3pm).

Anthony Quinn’s side have gone through five rounds of the competition in impressive fashion and while the luck of the draw gave them four home ties in succession as they saw off Corofin United (7-2), Loughrea B (4-3), Cartron Unted (4-3), and Bearna Na Forbacha (3-1), they followed that up with an impressive 2-0 away win over Manulla B in the semi-final.

Speaking to City Sport earlier in the week, Quinn was delighted with the way the campaign has gone so far.

“Look, apart from last weekend when an understrength side lost the play-off to Cois Fharraige, we have had a great season.

“That was disappointing, but we have put it behind us and we are hugely looking forward to Sunday. This squad has been together for some time and they are a great bunch of lads. It is a very competitive unit and there is huge competition for places.”

The manager also mentioned that they had met Killala in the same competition last season and had won on that occasion.

“However, we are aware that that will count for very little on this occasion. We are optimistic, maybe even confident, but certainly not cocky about the game and if we play according to our form, we will hopefully get a result”.

Knocknacarra will be hoping that main striker Rory Knight is fit to play. The 30-goal hitman went off with an ankle injury in the closing minutes of his side’s away game against Cois Fharraige two weeks ago and only this week returned to training.

Speaking this week, Knight was confident that he would be available on the day.

“I did some running this week and will strap it up for the occasion and I am sure it will be grand. We can’t wait for Sunday to come, as we have enjoyed a good season and hopefully we will be able to build on that. It’s out first time in a provincial final and hopefully we can make it a memorable one.”

While Knight has stepped in as skipper, spare a thought for central defender and club captain Craig Kinneen who suffered a recent injury that resulted him missing the last few months of the season.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.