Shane McGullion is going for his fifth championship medal in a row and is yet to lose a game at this level since he broke on to the Derrygonnelly team as a teenager with two goals in the final against Roslea in 2015.

The Shamrocks are once again the opponents this week as the Harps look to secure their fifth NewYork Cup success in a row.

McGullion reflects on his sensational performance in that decider in 2015 and admits to “never being as nervous in my whole life”.

“Archie (Greene) phoned me on the Saturday and told me I was starting. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t do much apart from the goals but it was a brilliant day and a brilliant feeling.”

Since then McGullion has added another three medals, one more in the forward line before reverting to his more natural position in defence for the last two championship wins.

“I prefer defence and in the half back line too, and try and get forward as much as I can now. That’s the way the game has gone now for men in the half back line,” he said.

McGullion has been excellent to date in the championship and was especially effective in the Harps’ semi final replay win over Belnaleck where his attacking runs from deep really hurt the Art MacMurroughs.

“They were two great games against Belnaleck. I felt like the intensity in that game was a lot like an Ulster Club game. We were nearly gone the first day but I thought we did a lot better in the replay. And I think that it will have prepared us well for the final.”

Derrygonnelly have had to overcome adversity this year including the absence of two of their key forwards in Leigh Jones and Paul Ward. The former moved to America with work while the latter suffered a season ending hamstring injury and McGullion admits that the pair have been a loss:

“We have lost really good forwards, everyone knows that but I think it made other players step up and also it means that we know we have to get scores from all over the pitch,” he said before he talked about the determination within the squad:

“I think everyone has lifted their commitment because we know we all have to be better to try and make up for those loses.”

Turning his attention to Roslea he knows that he and his team-mates will need to be prepared for something of a war against a Roslea team who themselves have bags of experience:

“They came in under the radar a little bit and they will be happy with that. But a lot of their players have played in championship finals and have won them too so they know what they are about. They are very good at dragging out results especially,” he said, before going on to praise the Roslea management and the way they have assembled their team:

“Peter (McGinnity) has them well set up, he has them trained well. Every single player knows what they are at and they are difficult to break down. There won’t be much space when we go forward.”

Derrygonnelly are truly making the most of a good group of players as the medals keep piling up and McGullion says they are hungry for more.

“You have to make hay when the sun shine as they say. No other team from Derrygonnelly have had the opportunity to do what we are doing so why would we want to stop when we feel like we have the team and the management and the resources to keep being competitive. Being hungry is easy when you have all that.”

Although not looking past Sunday’s final McGullion accepts that Derrygonnelly have wanted to make their mark in the Ulster arena. Two years ago they lost at the semi final stage to Cavan Gaels who plundered five goals, while last year a strong Scotstown team beat them in the opening round:

“It is not a case of looking towards Ulster, we have never done that. We always concentrate on the next game in Fermanagh. But when we have got out into Ulster we have wanted to try and prepare ourselves to go against the best team.”

McGullion enjoyed a year in the Fermanagh squad last year and is looking forward to getting back in to the set up this year and he feels that his year training with the county has helped him:

“I definitely feel that I am stronger and faster than I was last year so hopefully I can improve again this year. It will be good to get back in to it but that can all wait. At the minute Sunday is all that matters.”

Sunday. Roslea. And the drive for five. Historic days for the Harps.