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Pearse Celtic, winners of AUL 1, after winning AUL 2 a year previously, were up against it in February. But then came their best performances of the season and wins over Shandon Celtic and Richmond put them up among the contenders. Had these results gone against Pearse it would have been a totally different season.

The club went on a great run after this, winning 6, drawing 2 and losing only once in their last 9 games. These back to back wins in February made the lads feel that they could win the league.

Another big win came against UCC. Danny Carroll recalls: “That game looked totally gone from us but we got back into it and Gavin Pender scored the winner deep into injury time.”

There were some low points to come. “The loss against Greenmount Rangers after being 1-0 up in the second half and conceding 2 goals in the last 20 minutes was a killer. Heads were down that night. Another setback came against Richmond. Pearse were 2 up at the break and Richmond equalised in injury time. That was a total heartbreak as it was our second last game and meant Greenmount could win it in their last game against Richmond.”

But that game, abandoned in injury time at 2-2, was declared a draw and Pearse were champions after they beat Innishvilla 4-1 in their final tie. Only then were Kieran Morey (Manager), Terry Dalton and Martin O’Donovan (his assistants) able to relax. Morey and O’Donovan played for Pearse in their early league championships of the 90s.

Carroll, who has been with Pearse since the start, has no fears about their prospects for next season in Premier A: “Our aim is to stay in the division. That is the priority as it’s our first time in this grade and it’s going to be hard. We need to sign a couple of players and we will also look to do better in the cup competitions.”

Pearse Celtic squad:
Ray O'Keeffe GK
Damian Walsh GK
John Punch Gk
Terry Dalton Defender
Paul Radley Defender
James Moore Defender
James O'Neill Defender
Killian Couch Defender
Darren Roche Defender
Eddie Kelly Defender
Cian Holbrook Defender/Midfield
Richard O'Shea Midfield/Forward - captain
Gavin Pender Midfield – leading scorer (9)
Timmy Murphy Midfield/Forward
Kevin McCoy Midfield
Dave McArdle Midfield
Jamie Nagle Forward
Eric Pender Forward
Gary O'Shea Forward
Jason White Forward