Lucky 13 built a bridge for the Bogside brigade
Things could have have been so different for Bridge Rovers had they not had that doggedness that every champion must possess. Trailing 2-0 to Enniscorthy Town in their third game of the season, after taking just one Division 2 point from a possible six in their first two matches, things didn't look good.
With title hopes on the line so early, the Bogside boys dug in and eked out a victory from somewhere with youngster Shane Hogan grabbing the winner from a tremendous free-kick. The revival was the early shoots of what would prove to be a title-winning year.
Rovers went on a run of 13 wins in a row in the middle of the season, starting with a 3-1 victory over local rivals Crossabeg. That string of successful scorelines was enough to edge them past second-placed Adamstown by just two points and fellow contenders Gorey Celtic by four.
The run was aided by two 20-plus goal strikers in 18-year old hot shot Daniel Murphy and 'player of the year' Kevin Murphy. Ray McGlone, imported from Lismore in Waterford, was a vital addition in midfield and excelled as the season wore on.
Also in the middle of the park, Shane Murphy and Kevin Byrne performed with energy and drive. David Kenny proved to be a bit of an all-rounder, Niall Murphy chipped in with some vitals goals, and the team always had a safe pair of hands in goalkeeper Cormac O'Brien.
The hope for next year and the challenge of Division 1 football is to get a high level of commitment from all involved to go after back-to-back promotions.
While Rovers and Adamstown were moving on up from Division 2, Shamrock Rovers 'B' and New Ross Town drop down to Division 2A for next season but will hope to bounce back immediately.
Squad: Cormac O'Brien, Brian Tobin, David Kenny, Simon Murphy, Mark Tobin, Colin Redmond, Shane Hogan, Mark Mythen, Shane Murphy, Kevin Byrne, Ray McGlone, Niall Murphy, Kevin Murphy, Daniel Murphy, Terry Gainfort, Mark Mythen, Evan Devereux, Reilly Ronan, Derek Walsh, Martin Walsh, Oisín Firman, Bill Goucher, M.J. Reck.
Management: Eugene Byrne, Mark Tobin, Jason Murphy.