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Pride Spills From Man Of The Match As Kilcoo Make History

Pride Spills From Man Of The Match As Kilcoo Make History

Kilcoo won their first Ulster Club Football Championship title with a two-point win over Naomh Conaill at Healy Park in Omagh on Sunday afternoon.

The Down champions previously lost two Ulster finals to Crossmaglen Rangers in 2012 and Slaughtneil in 2016.

Seven points up at one stage in the first half, Kilcoo conceded two goals to the Donegal champions and went in just a point up at the break.

Kilcoo got the game's fourth goal early in the second half and then went 20 minutes without a score as they held on to win 2-11 to 2-9.

"Probably anybody in the parish with a pacemaker was panicking come the last [few minutes], in case the heart got tested," Man of the Match Daryl Branagan told TG4.

We came here my first year in 2012 for the final.

It was such a big occasion for the parish and it just go the best of us. You don't realise the work that's gone every night, all the training for this here.

I can't thank Mickey [Moran] enough. You don't realise how good that man is. Training every night, everybody is there going full tilt. I've never seen competition like it. A couple of lads didn't start today who got us here.

I feel bad just standing here. There's boys who didn't make the panel today who deserve this as much as I do.

Though the game remained tight down the home straight, Branagan said he and teammates took confidence from the hard training they had done throughout the year.

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Daryl is one of five Branagan siblings on the Kilcoo team. His brother Aaron was named Man of the Match in the Ulster semi-final victory over Derrygonnelly Harps (and also game a memorable interview).

"There's good auld competition within the house," said Daryl Branagan.

"When you to training, it's who's the fittest and who's the fastest. It helps push everyone on.

"At training, I'd get more nervous if there was a fitness, wondering where you were going to rank in the house as opposed to coming out and playing in an Ulster final today. It's healthy competition.

"When you see grown men out there coming crying to hug you, it just shows what it means to the whole parish."

See Also: Nemo's Unwritten Rule Keeps County Players And Club In Sync

PJ Browne
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