JIM O'DONNELL BENBURB striker Ciaran Mulcahy is honest enough to admit he wasn't sure if he could hack it when he first stepped up into the Junior ranks at the start of last season.
A lack of confidence wouldn't have been a problem for someone who joined from Harmony Row, where establishing a reputation as a prolific goalscorer had several clubs clamouring for his signature.
But out of respect to his roots, Mulcahy put pen to paper for local side Benburb and it's no exaggeration to say he has taken to the Juniors like a duck to water, with his goals and aerial prowess proving pivotal in helping the Govan side to promotion into the Premiership – as well as earning the acclaim of New Tinto Park outfit's dwindling but loyal band of followers.
Benburb fans can fondly recall all the great strikers to have played for their side over the years and they will readily tell you that repeats of Saturday's display against Rob Roy will have Mulcahy talked about in the same breath as the likes of John Divers, Eddie McKim, Gerry Peline and Andy Dailly.
Benburb's 2-0 triumph in an Ardagh Group West of Scotland Cup tie was sealed by the striker demonstrating outstanding awareness to net the second goal with a floated shot from just a couple of strides over the halfway line after Rabs keeper John Hutchison had sclaffed an attempted clearance.
But his wondrous strike failed to put a smile on the 22-year-old's face when
spoke to him afterwards. “I managed to get a great first touch which set up the possibility," Mulcahy said, "and I just felt, 'why not?'
“But it was as much relief as a great feeling to net such a memorable goal because Saturday wasn't one of my better showings. But in football you get games like that."
His manager, Paul Lovering, praised the young forward's ability to produce a moment of magic out of nothing.
“His goal was truly special but I always expect him to come up with the unexpected as Ciaran has that ability in his locker – and a bit more besides," he said.
Benburb's Ciaran Mulcahy