It’s been a while. 19 years to be exact. But Devenish, in their centenary year, are back in the senior county final and the excitement is certainly building around the club.

Marty O’Brien was 10 when that last final was reached; eight when the Garrison club won the last of their 10 county titles. If they are to capture their 11th O’Brien will need to be at his best.
The long time defender has been deployed around the middle of the field in recent championship outings but such is his versatility you could see him in any sector of the field.
The former county man is enjoying the buzz that comes with a final place;
“It’s new ground for us in a way. The club is in great spirits and everything is hopefully coming along nicely. It is a great time for the club in general,” O’Brien reflected before adding a note of caution;
“It’s still just a final and we can’t be getting carried away with just reaching a final. We need to make sure that we go out and perform well and play to our potential. In a way the semi final was a real hoodoo for us because we had lost a few so getting over that and getting rid of that baggage should help us.”
Devenish have a rich championship history and there is no doubt that recent times will be viewed on as something of a famine. O’Brien is glad that his side have reached that elusive final now.
“There was probably a time in the 80s and 90s when Devenish were spoiled with Championship finals and unfortunately when the team of the 90s came to an end, things ended abruptly in terms of championships. We probably feel that as a group an appearance in the final has been overdue. We have been in a lot of semi finals but things just didn’t work out. There were a few matches where we were outplayed and a few times when we had one foot in the final but did not see it through.”
Sunday’s opponents, Derrygonnelly, have thwarted Devenish’s progress in the last two seasons and O’Brien knows that his side will have to improve if they are to get the better of the Harps.
“We can have no complaints the last two years. Derrygonnelly were better than us in both of those games and we just need to accept that and try and make sure we compete better this time around,” he said before going on to talk about the strengths of the opposition,
“There were a few years there when Roslea were the kingpins but the mantle has firmly been taken over by Derrygonnelly. You don’t win championships by chance and you definitely don’t get to the point where you are going for three in a row by chance either. They have strong players all over the pitch and good players coming off the bench too. They have that real healthy mix of youth and experience and they are a force to be reckoned with.”
O’Brien has no shortage of confidence however and he believes that his side are well able to produce a big performance on Sunday.
“I think when you look at our team, even though this is our first final we have a lot of experience there. A lot of us have been going for a number of years now and we haven’t had a lot of turnover of players which I think is important. It is up to us now. We have a solid core and it means an awful lot to everyone involved in the club to get to this final and we have to do everything we can to take the next step,” he concluded.