‘You couldn’t write the script’

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT - BY DAVID GOULDEN

‘SHAM­ROCK Gaels. A lot done, more to do’ reads a sup­port­ers’ road sign on the Bal­lina road head­ing to­wards Quigabar.

The path to the Con­nacht in­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball fi­nal re­mains wide open for Gaels and their man­ager John McPart­land, af­ter his side over­turned a six point deficit with 12 min­utes to go, to progress to a last four meet­ing with Roscom­mon cham­pi­ons Fuerty.

“It wasn’t good for the nerves but we never gave up and kept plug­ging away”, McPart­land said af­ter the game at the windy Kil­glass venue.

“We gave away a cou­ple of easy frees and our com­mu­ni­ca­tion at the back could have been bet­ter in the first half. But we did well against a strong breeze.

“But the wind will never win a game for you.

“We had a few too many wides in the first half and maybe drove the ball in a lit­tle too hard in front of our for­wards and that didn’t help ei­ther. But we be­lieve in our­selves and I be­lieve in them. We knew we would do it if it was at all pos­si­ble.”

Last Satur­day’s win sees Sham­rock Gaels just one hour away from a provin­cial de­cider against ei­ther An Spidéal from Gal­way or Mayo’s Bel­mul­let.

McPart­land said it was a proud mo­ment not just for his side, but also for the county as a whole.

And while he ad­mit­ted he knew lit­tle about this week­end’s op­po­nents, he is adamant the ma­roon men will be go­ing all out to be­come the first Sligo side since Bun­ni­nad­den in 2012 to reach a Con­nacht in­ter­me­di­ate de­cider. “Not alone for us as a club, but to win any Con­nacht match as a Sligo team, it’s a good thing”, he con­tin­ued. “We’re de­lighted to win it.

“You couldn’t write the script, but that’s what we want! We have an­other game in Sligo next week and what more do we want?

“Fuerty will be a test but we’ll take it as it comes. We’ll be hop­ing to do well and won’t be there just to take part. We know noth­ing about them re­ally but we’ll try and take a look dur­ing the week.”

Satur­day’s game was the lat­est game in a busy few weeks for Gaels who had to come through a bruis­ing re­play against Curry to de­cide the county’s in­ter­me­di­ate cham­pi­ons.

But McPart­land is con­fi­dent his panel’s strength in depth can shine this week­end, if re­quired.

“Michael Kilkenny played some of the Curry game but he’s strug­gling with his ham­string”, McPart­land ex­plained.

“Ben Touhy couldn’t play be­cause of con­cus­sion.

“We’ve taken a few knocks to­day but we have a big, strong panel and we’ll be able to fill that gap.”

The Sham­rock Gaels side who de­feated Fenagh on Satur­day in En­nis­crone. Pic: Tom Cal­lanan.

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