They were underdogs in most people's minds, but not their own when they went into the county final against Kilmaine, but the warriors from Lahardane were paying no attention to that particular script and they blew away the south Mayo men to claim a historic victory. Now this Sunday they are just an hour away from another historic movement when the face Sligo champions Ballymote in the Connacht Club Junior Football Championship final at 2pm in MacHale Park.
John Maughan's men faced down the challenge of Galway champions St Gabriels in the semi-final of the provincial championship and romped home on a scoreline of 5-13 to 0-11 - but while they made sure that they hit the Galway champions with all they had in the game, Lahardane know that they faced a team down to 13 men for a long part of the game. This will be Lahardane's fifth championship game on the trot in MacHale Park - which has become a second home to them over the past few months and John Mauaghan has got his side to by into his philosophy this season and believe in themselves and it has shown on the field.
His defensive line of the experienced Barry Leonard, Matthew Queenan, Philip O'Malley, Conor Coleman, Chris Rowland and Paul Coleman are teak tough operators but also have an attacking streak in them that they will look to on Sunday. In the middle of the park Gary Naughton and Tony Dever are formidable pairing - who can be the launchpad for success on Sunday if they get on top of the game from the start. Up front for the men from the shadow of Nephin - Adrian Leonard and James Maughan have been in excellent for for their side all season - with Leonard hitting 2-9 in their semi-final. The likes of Shane Loftus, Aaron Murphy and Mark Noone can also be looked to to lead the side in attack.
Lahardane's opponents on Sunday, Ballymote, overcame Roscommon side Kilglass Gaels in their semi-final; the Roscommon side represented the county in the provincial championship because the junior title was won by St Brigid's B team. In their semi-final win, Ballymote won that game 2-11 to 0-8 with their full forward line of Gerard Brennan, Mark Irwin and Peter Lyons contributing a combined 2-4 between them while center half-forward Niall Closh chipped in with 0-4 over the hour in an impressive display.