Wes Doyle did his best Etta James impression exclaiming ‘at last’ after his Usher side defeated Sheriff in the FAI Junior Cup on Friday last.
Doyle as a player and as a manager has suffered at the feet of Sheriff over the years, but finally registered a massive win over their Premier A rivals in the fourth round of the biggest cup competition in Europe on Friday night.
However, while there was joy and maybe even relief after finally scalping Sheriff there certainly wasn’t shock or surprise from the Usher line.
The may have failed to beat the what proved an all conquering Sheriff side in recent seasons Doyle knew his team were closing the gap and felt by the time Friday came around they had as much chance of reaching the Open Draw as Sheriff.
“At long last!” Doyle told Herald Striker directly after Friday’s FAI Junior win.
“I am years trying to beat them as a manager and a player. We got them in five competition last year and they done us. Two weeks ago I thought the (league) game was 50-50 and tonight I didn’t think it was going to be anything less than 50-50.
“You have to show them respect they are a great side, they are back to back winners, they very rarely lose, but I thought we well deserved it tonight. ”
Usher caught the eye last season, have built a strong squad which includes two attacking Irish Junior International in Jordan Buckley and Stephen Donnelly.
While Sheriff are still deemed favourites for Premier A and indeed seen as the best Junior side in the country most agreed Usher were a genuine rival going into this season.
Friday’s win and the manner in which it came suggests the gap has been closed significantly, but Doyle argues there is still bit a bit to do to reach the level of Alan Reilly’s charges.
“We are a little bit more disciplined this year and the team is starting to motor, as I said I knew we were not that far off Sheriff, listen I am not saying we are better than Sheriff and we can win this or win that. We still have a bit to do, but we are definitely not far off that level,” he added before addressing whether or not they are now favourites to win the FAI Junior Cup.
“People are going to take us really serious now, not that they didn’t before hand, but people will see us as one of the favourites, but at the same time we are not there yet, if that makes sense. ”