Fanad to return to Triagh-a-loch’s main sod

Fanad Utd will make their return to the main pitch at Triagh-A-Locha on Thursday night when they welcome old foes Swilly Rovers to the peninsula (kick-off 7.30pm).

Arthur Lynch’s team have been playing on the second pitch at the venue since the start of the season after a series of upgrades were carried out to the main pitch.

Now, though, they’ll be back beneath the lights and in front of the stand at Triagh-A-Locha on a night when the 14-times champions have a chance to go second in the table.

After a 1-0 win over Finn Harps Reserves – when Shaun McElwaine netted the only goal of the game – Fanad could, until Sunday at least, leapfrog Letterkenny with a win over Swilly.

It represents a big night for Fanad as they get back to their old fortress once more.

“The main pitch had just got into bad shape,” says Patrick Sweeney, who headed up the redevelopment works.

“William Coyle from Pitch Dimensions in Buncrana was employed to do the work.

“It is all natural ground there and nothing was really ever done to it. The theory was that the soil just got too rich and it tended to cut up badly in the winter time.

“William and his team ploughed, rotovated, sewed and rolled it last August and we left it until now to get it back into good shape again.

“We were lucky to have the second pitch. It has always been playable and a number of other teams nearby have used it over the years. It would now be due an upgrade too.”

The land on which Triagh-A-Locha stands was originally land owned by the Earl of Leitrim. The estate of Charles Clements, the 5th Earl of Leitrim, was bequeathed to a number of recipients in the area with the specification that the land at Triagh-A-Locha be left for sporting purposes.

It has been Fanad United’s home since the club’s formation in 1972.

The clubhouse and dressing rooms were later developed and in 2006 the €73,000 floodlights were switched on with a match taking place between Fanad and the Celtic Under-19s, Jim O’Brien netting the only goal of the game for the Hoops before a crowd of 1,200.