WHAT looked a certainty for so long became reality this week as St Mochta’s beat local rivals Verona 5-2 midweek to build an unassailable lead at the top of the LSL Sunday Senior 1.
It ensured they enter top tier football in the LSL for the very first time as comprehensive league champions, getting over the line with four games remaining and the minimum of fuss.
While the side dominated the division, manager Brian McCarthy was still surprised by the distance between his side and the chasing pack, especially as they were only promoted to this division 12 months ago.
“We didn’t expect to do it in this manner to be fair,” he told GazetteSport. “Going up a league, you don’t know what you are up against.
“I hadn’t seen much Senior 1 football before last year. I knew we had a good, strong side but the lads stepped up. To lose only one game in the league out of 22, it’s great going.”
David Somers fired a hat trick in the win over Verona as they raced into an early lead. He broke the deadlock in the 12th minute and added his second two minutes later from Lee Dixon’s assist.
The tie was all but done and dusted when his brother Karl Somers netted the third and John Reilly made it 4-0 at half-time, killing off the tie in breathtaking fashion to the delight of the home crowd, one augmented due to its derby nature.
“There was a huge crowd at the match and we have great support. For the lads, it would have been good to win against their local rivals but, for me, it was more to just get over the line.”
While the hat-trick brought David Somers’ goal tally to 27 for the season, McCarthy said there were many heroes in his line-up.
“Right the way through the team, they have been exceptional. Warren Fee, the goalkeeper, has been immense; Brian Fitzpatrick came in from Tolka Rovers and has been excellent. Craig Sheridan, Luke Harrison and so on.
“You look at the likes of David and Karl [Somers] – who has been called into the intermediate squad, which is a long time since anyone from the club has done that. The level of performance they all bring has been exceptional.”
And McCarthy said that he already had ambitions of making a splash in the Sunday Senior even though there is still plenty of football to be played this term.
“We’ve a very good backbone and will hopefully bring in a few players. It is something that we have looked at already. But I said to the lads that even though no one can catch us, we want to persevere.
“To only get beaten once in the season, it would be huge. We want to kick on and we won’t be taking the eye off the ball. The Senior Cup is the weekend of May 31 so we still have a month left at least until we relax.”