Sports

Ulster Glory in reach for Moy

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

AN Ulster title is within touching distance for Moy, and they will go for glory in Sunday's Intermediate Championship final at the Athletic Grounds.

A victory over Rostrevor of Down would represent the club's greatest achievement in its 109-year history, and a talented team is capable of making the short journey home with the trophy.

Having bridged a 35-year gap with a Tyrone IFC title, the Tir na nOgs are now in bonus territory, but they have a steely determination to add further success to what has been a memorable season.

Led by All-Star brothers Sean and Colm Cavanagh, they have a supremely talented group of players, with goal-grabber Harry Loughran an Ryan Coleman posing a major threat up front.

Skipper Eunan Deeney has led by example right through the campaign, and experienced pair Tomas McNicholl and Thomas Conlon have anchored a disciplined and reliable defence.

Joint managers Audi Kelly and Gavin McGilly have their team playing with a freedom and a confidence, and they're hoping the players can rise to the occasion on the showpiece occasion.

"They're a fantastic group of lads, they're just honest and they want to go and do their absolute beset for the Moy jersey in every game," said McGilly.

"They have moulded together and become a tight wee team, they're playing for each other, and nothing fazes them any more.

"They're enjoying it, being part of a panel, being part of this club. But now that we are in a final, they're going to be focused to go and finish the job."

McGilly is happy with the level of performance to date, but a slow start to the semi-final against Newbridge remains a concern. Having fallen four points behind while playing with wind advantage, Moy had to dig deep, but produced the goods with a dominant second half display.

"It was 1982 that was the last time they achieved Intermediate Championship success, and this is our first venture into the Ulster campaign.

"We're just taking each game as they come to us. We had Carrickmacross up first, and they were serious challenger. That game was just nip and tuck the whole way.

"Then we moved on to Newbridge, and we know that if we produce another half like we did in the first half, then we'll be seriously up against it against Rostrevor.

"But we're just glad that in the second half of that game, the boys went out and expressed themselves and played a bit of football.

"It gave a wee indicator of what we can do when we really focus and apply ourselves."

And he's confident that they can repeat that second half display, which saw them shoot 2-11 into the breeze, can be repeated on Sunday.

"They are a talented bunch of lads, there's no question about their talent, and you just hope that in the next game they go and do it for a longer spell, because that's what it's going to take.

"Rostrevor are going to be a tough, tough nut to crack. They're back in senior football in Down, and people will tell you that Rostrevor are a first division team in Down, and always have been. So we know that it's going to be a big tussle."

The Cavanagh brothers have important roles to play, and will combine their star quality with vast experience of big occasions to push their club towards the finish line.

"They're two exceptional fellows. Sean and Colm are superb lads, and you don't get an All-Star for nothing, those boys are super footballers.

"And they appreciate the level to which the rest of the squad have really stepped up. Maybe in the past those boys were left with it all to do, now they're getting more help from the rest of the team.

"I think that's probably the main reason why we are where we are, because everybody is rowing in behind, and now it's one last push."

With the Cavanagh brothers and Harry Loughran unavailable for several league games due to their involvement with Tyrone, it has been difficult for Moy in Division Two, but once they got their main men back, a major drive was on for championship honours, and every man grasped the opportunity.

"If you take those three players out of any team, you're going to struggle to replace them, but to be fair to the fellows, they're committed to the Moy club and the Moy team, and I think everybody understands their commitment with Tyrone as well.

"So it's nothing really new, the club is used to it at this stage. It's just one of the privileges, than you have club men selected to represent you on the county panel, and you do forego them for five or six games in the year. But that gives other lads an opportunity to step in."

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