Football: FRIENDLY RIVALS; Paul Will Be Moore Than Happy If Downpatrick Finish Second to Rec

The Mirror (London, England), September 26, 2006 | Go to article overview

Football: FRIENDLY RIVALS; Paul Will Be Moore Than Happy If Downpatrick Finish Second to Rec


Byline: Martin Mawhinney

KILMORE Rec boss Paul Moore has admitted that he'll be happy to see local rivals Downpatrick do well this year - just as long as his own side finish higher.

No matter who you are, no matter what team you are involved with, the chances are that if you have been involved in amateur football for any length of time, there will always be at least one another club with whom you will always have a strong connection.

For Moore, that club is Downpatrick.

Born and bred in the town famed as St Patrick's final resting place, Moore grew up playing for Downpatrick Rec before embarking on a six-year stint as a centre half for Kilmore.

However, the subsequent news that Downpatrick Celtic and Downshire Hospitals were amalgamating to create a new team called Downpatrick FC was enough to lure him back to his hometown.

It was, as he recalls, an opportunity that was too good to miss.

He said: "There was a fair bit of excitement about the place at the time, and the manager John McCarthy did a really good job. We got promotion from 2B to 2A to 1B to 1A in successive seasons."

The connection between Moore, Downpatrick, and Kilmore does not end there. When Kilmore celebrated their first of two successive Clarence Cup wins, three seasons ago, Moore was playing for the Downpatrick side that lost the game 5-1.

And even in the face of such humiliation, he turned up to join his friends at an FA Cup final barbeque that Kilmore hosted only three days later.

When Seamus Heath introduced Moore back into the Kilmore first team last March, after returning to help out with training earlier in the season, who was the team they faced that day? None other than Downpatrick.

On top of everything else, the fact that his assistant Brian Healy was Downpatrick's goalkeeper as recently as last year makes it very difficult for Moore to escape the bond he has formed with one of several Premier Section teams that can consider themselves as a neighbouring rival to Kilmore.

He laughed: "At the end of the day, I'd like to see Downpatrick win every game except two - the ones against us!"

Now, after enduring a tense season where they both had to win their last games to guarantee survival in the Premier Section, both teams have undergone a dramatic change of fortunes, sitting pretty in the top four of the table.

"I am not getting carried away though - it's far too early for any of that," states Moore, with more than a slight air of caution about him.

It's hard to blame him though, as he has largely the same squad as Heath worked with last year, and was at a loss as to why they found themselves in such dire straits. …

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