Stern test of Mal­low’s cre­den­tials

The Corkman - - SPORT - BY DIAR­MUID SHEE­HAN

THERE is huge in­ter­est lo­cally in the lat­ter stages of the ma­jor­ity of the cham­pi­onship grades this sea­son and nowhere is that more the case than in the Pre­mier In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship.

In the Pre­mier In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball di­vi­sion Mal­low are in ac­tion next Satur­day af­ter­noon in Coach­ford where they will take on a Ban­don side that have done re­ally well since gain­ing pro­mo­tion from the IFC last sea­son.

Mal­low have been the great pre­tenders in this di­vi­sion for quite a while now but have al­ways seen their chal­lenge come off the rails just when they least ex­pected. 12 months ago it was Kiskeam that burst the Mal­low bub­ble in a game that looked like it had Mal­low’s name all over it for long pe­ri­ods.

At least from a Mal­low per­spec­tive it was the Duhal­low men that ad­vanced to se­nior foot­ball which is some con­so­la­tion – how­ever slight – for the boys from Car­ri­goon.

There re­ally is lit­tle doubt that Mal­low have all the cre­den­tials, tal­ent, and at this stage de­sire to win this game but one just can’t over­look what Ban­don as a club have man­aged to do in the last twelve months.

Their se­nior hurlers were a breath of fresh air this sea­son in the top flight which is a fair achieve­ment con­sid­er­ing they only en­tered the grade around this time last sea­son.

The club’s foot­ballers have also shown they are far from out of their depth at Pre­mier and will fancy mak­ing it that both club sides play­ing se­nior in 2018 - if they get a sniff of a win here.

Mal­low for their part will be ea­ger to push past this test and into the show­piece game where they would ei­ther face New­mar­ket or St Michael’s. Both of those sides could also burst Mal­low’s bub­ble so to say that this di­vi­sion is still wide open in the semi-fi­nal stage would hardly be con­sid­ered sit­ting on the fence.

If Mal­low win they will em­u­late Fer­moy’s achieve­ment of last sea­son when they got sides in both Pre­mier fi­nals how­ever in Mal­low they will be des­per­ate to avoid the same fate after Fer­moy failed to se­cure ei­ther ti­tle by sea­son’s end.

To call this one is tough but Mal­low re­ally should have what it takes to win through in a dog fight, but hav­ing said that if they don’t per­form to the best of their col­lec­tive abil­i­ties it is fair to say they will head back home dis­ap­pointed yet again.

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