This Sunday at Tuam Stadium (4pm ) city side St Michael’s take on Glenamaddy in the intermediate championship football final.
The winners will play senior football next season and that is a carrot that will ensure a high degree of endeavour from both sides.
Glenamaddy were relegated from senior last year and they are extremely keen to bounce straight back up the premier grade.
Former double All-Ireland winning medalist with Galway and man-of-the-match for Glen against Oughterard in the semi-final Shay Walsh puts the point succinctly.
“Any team that gets relegated wants to get back up as soon as possible. The longer you stay at intermediate, the more difficult it is to get promoted.
“We have not played St Michael’s in championship for years and we know that it will be a very big test as they are going very well and gave a terrific performance in beating Kilconly the last day out.”
Walsh has been an outstanding servant for his club over the years, and despite making his debut in May of 1992, he has yet to win an adult championship medal with Glenamaddy.
“There is great excitement in the parish with flags and bunting out, but we know that getting to a final is no good unless we can win it. I have been playing with the club for 16 or 17 years and you don’t get to too many championship finals, so we are keen to try to make the most of this opportunity.”
However St Michael’s will provide very tough opposition, and in players like team captain Greg Rogan, county player Eddie Hoare, and the impressive Alan Flynn at full-back, they have three high quality players. Other players who have caught the eye in the championship are former St Mary’s goalkeeper Robert Hannon, centre-back Peter Ruane, and wing-forwards Conor Hoctor and Frank Daly.
The St Michael’s management team of Pat Regan, John Ruane, and Peter Curran have done trojan work all season in their efforts to bring the club back to senior ranks and they are just 60 minutes from doing so at this juncture.
And there are some key individual battles that can decide this final.
Aidan Geraghty, who is the Glen captain and lines out at midfield, will have a big tussle with Eddie Hoare, who was magnificent in the semi-final. Whichever team wins that battle, will have one foot in the final.
Likewise Alan Glynn versus Shay Walsh will be crucial as Walsh is his team’s main go-to player in the full-forward line, and if stopped, it would be a massive fillip for the city lads. Glynn is a good player and that is a great contest to savour.
Glen are managed by Creggs native Ger Dowd who brought St Brigid’s of Kiltoom to the Connacht senior final a few years ago and his experience on the side-line is also a positive.
It should be a cracker of a game and is being refereed by Vinny Judge.
It is preceded by the Minor B final at 2.30pm between Barna and Mountbellew/Moylough with Tony Keating the man in black.