ST COLUMB’S Under-14 coach James Greene has experienced both the heartache and elation which comes part and parcel with Cup finals.
Having brought the Buncrana Road school to the brink of success in the Intermediate Cup final at Dungannon Swifts’, Stangmore Park last year, only to suffer defeat at the final hurdle, Greene made amends when finally claiming the trophy on Wednesday morning.
The slender victory over St Malachy’s brought with it a rollercoaster of emotions as the Belfast boys twice struck the woodwork during an anxious conclusion to the game.
However, Mikhail Kenendy’s 17 minute strike proved to be the winner and Greene insisted he was never in doubt his side would return to Derry with the trophy.
“It’s actually nice to finally win one,” said Greene. “The boys have been excellent, they worked really hard, trained really hard so this is the reward they get for it and they’ll enjoy it now.
“Fair play to St Malachy’s they dug deep and kept going and they had a few big lads who kept pumping the ball long but we were excellent.
“The last few minutes was very nerve-wracking but we’ve had a few occasions like that during the season so I wasn’t panicking.”
Although the game was a scrappy affair, the St Columb’s coach understandably didn’t mind how his side won in the end.
“We like to play football, get it down and pass it about but it’s a final and it’s all about winning regardless of how you do it.”
And already the ambitious St Columb’s have set their sights on surpassing this year’s record success.
“Hopefully next year we can take all four trophies, you just never know.”