Evening Times - - RACING -

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

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