Erin Go Bragh achieved a massive leap forward last weekend when their league win against Castleknock delivered the Division 9 title and promotion to Division 8 for next season.
Established in 2007, it is the first time that the team have been promoted out of the lowest division, and not only does their progress mark a historic moment for the club, it is the culmination of years of hard work.
The match was played at Somerton, and the players went into the game knowing that if they won, they could not be caught for the top prize by their league competitors.
The game was fairly contested and EGB had the benefit of a strong breeze in the first half. Their approach to the game led to a huge 5-10 to four points scoreline by half-time.
They went out in the second half and against the breeze, scored 1-7 to four points, leading to a monumental 6-17 to eight point victory.
Speaking to Gazette Sport after the match, manager Gareth Dalton was thrilled with his side’s success. He took over managing the side in early 2012, and has seen massive progress in the team.
“When you consider when I took over, the best the team had achieved was three wins out of the 12 games in the division, we have seen massive progression.
“We just started the guys from the bottom and concentrated on basic skills. As they progressed, we introduced more intricate drills and skillsets, and they have come on in leaps and bounds.
“It’s a joy for me. Guys who had been there for six years, and were used to getting beaten year in year out… to see them progressing and winning games is really fulfilling for me and the players.”
Dalton expects that life in Division 8 will be challenging, but has a huge amount of faith in the side’s ability to succeed on the back of their promotion.
“As long as we keep our eyes clear on the goal, I would be hopeful for a top half finish at the end of the season at the least, if not top three. I think the team are capable of that.
“We played in the D championship, which is a knock-out competition, and reached the quarter-finals. On the way, we beat two Division 7 teams, and gave a Division 6 team a good run in the quarter-final match,” said Dalton.
“I don’t see the guys being overwhelmed in Division 8. They have played in the lowest league, and they now have the determination to compete, if not win, Division 8.”