The loyal football supporters of Connemara will descend on Tuam Stadium this Sunday at 2pm to see Naomh Anna Leitir Móir battle it out with a capable Westport side to see who will collect the Connacht Intermediate title.
Ciarán Ó Fatharta’s men did just enough to get past Cloone in the semi-final, but they will know that facing a Mayo team in a Connacht final will represent a different and more difficult challenge.
Unfortunately the Galway champions will be forced to line out without their talented corner back Padraic Mac an Riogh, who suffered a broken jaw in their semi-final victory. Colm Ó Conghaile is expected to come in to replace his injured colleague.
Ó Fatharta knows his side faces a tough battle this weekend, but he is adamant they can produce a quality performance to put themselves in the frame for a famous victory.
“We saw Westport in Castlebar last weekend and they scored 2-12 over a good Sligo side. They linked very well up front and they have some good players like Damien Keane and Lewis Cawley in the full-forward line and Stephen Broderick and Eamon Walsh in the half-forwards.
“We are a very young team, with one or two notable exceptions, and we are learning all the time. We are not going to Tuam to make up the numbers, and if we play to our potential, we will be there or thereabouts. It has been a long year and we would love to cap it off with a Connacht title.”
If Naomh Anna are to win and follow the bothár to Croke Park like Caherlistrane, Moycullen and St Michael’s have done in the past few seasons, they will need influential and powerful displays from key men like Fiachra and Ferdia Breathnach, Toto Ó Griofa, Ciarán Bairéad, Cormac Ó Conghaile, Cristóir Ó Flatharta, Patsy Seoighe, Coilín Ó Hogáin and free-taker Diathí MacDonnchadha.
One thing about this team is that they battle to the final whistle and give everything for the cause. They will need more of the same next weekend and probably a goal or two if they are to advance.