DOIRE TRASNA manager Paul Simpson claimed the memory of last season’s Junior Championship final defeat provided extra motivation for his team as they rubber-stamped their promotion credentials with victory over Ardmore on Sunday.
The Waterside men went into last season’s Junior showpiece as odds-on favourites to secure a first ever Championship only to see St. Mary’s stage a superb second half fight-back and snatch the title.
With both sides expected to be among the title contenders this year, it is Pearses who have set the pace and Simpson admitted his side felt they had a score to settle against William McLaughlin’s men.
“I am happy enough because we felt we had to beat Ardmore on account of the Championship final last year and we were short a few players today but credit to those who played, they really stepped up,” said the Doire Trasna manager
“For long periods we controlled the game but couldn’t get scores which is a bad habit we sometimes fall into though I was happy enough with the overall performance, especially given the starting 15 we had.”
The midfield axis of Caolan Doyle and Paul Quigley has provided Pearses with the springboard to their early season success with Doyle in superb form again on Sunday as he helped himself to seven points.
“Caolan has been our best player all year although in fairness I think we have maybe the best midfield in this division. Teams try to play around us, they don’t like opening up against us for some reason which is how we want to play but it is up to us to combat how the other team plays and I think we did that. It was a good result.”
The victory is even more significant given it comes only one week after Pearses suffered their only defeat of the season to date at Magherfelt Thirds.
“It is a massive two points on the back of what happened last week. At times last week against Magerafelt we really should have pushed on from good positions we found ourselves in but we went to sleep and lost a goal at a vital time. “The win has been important in terms of getting that gap again at the top. The bit of a cushion gives you a bit of confidence,” he added