Ambitious Collinstown push for big LSL jump

by Dave Donnelly
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Collinstown’s Saturday side sealed a second successive league title last month and are poised to finish the league season unbeaten.

The LSL Saturday Major 1C side have swept all that’s come before them in the league and reached the last 16 of the Tom Carroll Cup – beating clubs ranked several leagues above them on the way.

And they may bypass Major 1B entirely should the club successfully argue that they’re competing at too low a level and their presence is distorting the competition.

It’s been a remarkably successful first season in charge for Anto Moriarty and his assistant, the former Shelbourne and St Patrick’s Athletic player Bobby Ryan.

They sealed the title having dropped points on only one occasion – in the 1-1 draw with St Kevin’s Boys that confirmed them as champions.

The club made the ambitious move from AUL to LSL ahead of the 2016/17 and both Saturday and Sunday teams were placed low in the pyramid and walked their leagues as a result.

Still, it’s a remarkable achievement to go the majority of the season unbeaten – not least because Kevin Carroll’s Sunday team are also yet to lose a game as they chase promotion to intermediate level.

Moriarty pinpoints one moment in particular, early in the season, when his team were faced with a daunting challenge and faced it head on, setting a standard for themselves to maintain for the year.

“We were getting beaten 2-0 by Drumfinn early doors, probably about three games into the season,” Moriarty tells the Dublin Gazette.

“We were getting beaten 2-0 and we were down to nine men and we came back and beat them 3-2. That set the standard for us.

“If we can do that against a decent Drumfinn team, what would we do with 11 players on the park.

“That was a turning point early doors that set the standard we wanted to achieve. If we have the will to win, we’re capable of beating everybody.”

The Saturday team appealed to be placed as high as Major 1B at the beginning of the season but were denied. Moriarty hopes their request to join Major 1A next season will be more successful.

Regardless of what league they enter next year, Moriarty has set his sights high for next season, with plans to enter the FAI Junior Cup and challenge the best of Saturday and Sunday junior ball.

“I’m looking to take Collinstown to Major Saturday. Myself and Bobby Ryan are on a three to five year plan. I’m hopefully going to bring another three to five players to have a decent crack at an FAI Junior Cup.

“I know that’s a big statement but we’ve beaten teams this season, in the Noel Ryan and the other cups that deep in the FAI Junior.

“The ambition is there and the plans are in place. Whether we fulfil it or not is down to the commitment of the players. So far, the commitment of the players has been very good.”

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