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27 Jun 2022

‘It feels like two-in a row’ - Kilmacrennan boss McGranaghan

A play-off win over Bonagee secured what is officially Kilmacrennan Celtic's first Premier Division title since 2010 - but by the Lurgy they say different.

Kilmacrennan Celtic defeat Bonagee United to clinch Premier Division title

Kilmacrennan Celtic celebrate winning the Donegal League Premier Division play-off.

The record books will show that it’s a first Premier Division title since 2010, but Kilmacrennan Celtic feel differently.

Stripped of the 2020 crown following a long, protracted process that ended in the Court of Arbitration, who ruled that Cappry Rovers should be champions, Kilmacrennan got their hands on the 2021/22 title on Saturday.

A 3-1 win over Bonagee United in a play-off secured the prize.

“It feels great,” Kilmac’ manager Gerard McGranaghan told Donegal Live.

“It’s great for the players and the club.

“We’ve been knocking on the door the last few years, but it does feel like it’s two-in-a-row.

“For three years in a row, we’ve had good consistency. We lost to Castlefin by a point, then there was last year - and we all know how that went - and now this.

“We lost players through that and we’ve strengthen some areas too. The players who came in have worked hard and deserved this. I’m happy with where we have go to.”

There was a stroke of fortune with their first goal, as Paul Bradley profited to fire into an empty net in the 29th minute.

Matthew McLaughlin doubled the lead in the second half with a superb free kick.

“I didn’t even think he was going to take it,” McGranaghan said. “It seemed set up for a left-footer, but Matthew is a great striker of the ball. I was right behind it. He just caught the ‘keeper off-guard a wee bit.

“We were shocking, I felt, in the first 15 minutes. We were all over the place and Bonagee went at us. We needed to settle a wee bit. I felt when we got the first goal that we were on top.”

Paddy McGowan pulled a goal back for Boagee in the 86th minute, but veteran striker Philip Buchanan fired in a memorable third for the champions.

McGranaghan said: “Philip came back to play in the Saturday League. He’s still go the knowledge and the touch. He’s very experienced and it was great to have him there.

"When he scored, I was saying to the boys on the bench: ‘That’s what a goalscorer does!’. I was delighted for him and also delighted that we got the third because it killed the game."

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