‘You couldn’t write the script’
‘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.