Belcoo vice-captain Paul McGrath will be looking to get his hands on a third Intermediate Championship medal on Saturday evening when his side take on Lisnaskea in the final at Brewster Park.
McGrath picked up a first medal in 2003 as a young squad member when they overcame Erne Gaels and he played his part as Belcoo eventually defeated Brookeboro after a trilogy of games.
And a victory this year would be a special one for the club.
“This last couple of years we have been operating in the Intermediate Championship but we never really made a dent in it so it is good to be back to a final, especially as it is in our Centenary anniversary. It would be great in the year that it is to put something on the table at the end of it,” said McGrath.
It has been a difficult season for the O’Rahillys as they finished bottom of Division One but McGrath feels that they had started to turn the corner as the league drew to close.
“It has been a tough season in terms of the league but we knuckled down over the last month of the league and we felt our performances started to improve. We got a win in our second last league game against Devenish and that gave us a bit of belief and momentum and we carried that into the championship game against Enniskillen. Since then training has been going really well and the boys are working hard. We are showing what we can do if we work hard and we continued on against Maguiresbridge and I think we deserve to be in the final,” he commented.
With all sides, championship is king and McGrath’s knows that the season could yet turn into a successful one despite the miserable league campaign that they have endured.
“Look, we have only won three matches all season but two of them have come in the championship and the old saying is the league is for playing and championships are for winning. We have now put ourselves in a position where we are an hour away from lifting a piece of silverware which would make it a good season. Also, the way the structure is in the league we still have a chance of saving ourselves from going down so it could turn into a great season if we were to win the championship and stay up. In saying that though we know there is a lot of hard work to be done if we are to achieve that,” said McGrath.
He knows though that they face their toughest test to date if they are to get their hands on the silverware on September 23. Lisnaskea have shown plenty of battling qualities and no shortage of ability in seeing off Derrylin and St. Pat’s and in the likes of Daniel Kille, Mark Little, Tom Clarke and Sean Keenan have players who are capable of causing damage.
“There’s no doubt it will be the toughest game for us, it is two Division One sides meeting. We have played Skea twice this year, we drew with them once and they beat us the second day in Lisnaskea so we know it is going to be a real tough battle. I would expect it to be in the melting pot with ten minutes to go and then it is down to whoever wants it the most.
“They have a clutch of experienced players and they are also blending in a couple of younger lads so both teams are similar enough in that aspect. Of course, there will be a few men earmarked by both sides and hopefully we can win most of the battles and come out on top in the battle,” he concluded.