Kevin Cassidy

KEVIN CASSIDY: There’s a big performance in Glen

THE big weekend has arrived when we will find out who will be crowned Ulster Club Champions for 2023.

Before we get into that, let us just state that whichever team wins on Sunday will fully believe that they have a great chance of going the distance.

Without being disrespectful to any of the teams still standing and I have watched them all, for me, whoever can handle Kilmacud will emerge as champions.

If you were to ask both Glen and Scotstown about All-Ireland ambitions, they would bat it away and tell you that they haven’t even thought about that yet but I can tell you from experience that’s not the case.

When we were preparing for the final back in 2018, of course our full focus was on the final but we also had one eye on who we would be playing should we get the job done.

Now, let’s get back to Sunday and we probably have the two best teams left in the final.

Both will be disappointed with their performance the last day out as I felt they were well below their best but that’s a good way to be heading into the final as your players will be keen to get their own performance right this time around.

For me, Scotstown kicked too many wides in the semi-final and that is the one area they will be keen to make improvements in.

If we are being honest, they had enough chances and possession in the first half to put the game to bed. It was their failure to convert them that left the door open and Trillick took that opportunity.

In reality, if their numbers stack up like that on Sunday then you can be certain that Glen will punish them so it’s key for them to turn that around.

From a Glen point of view, they also uncharacteristically squandered a lot of chances in their semi-final against Naomh Conaill and most of them were unforced errors as they totally dominated the Glenties men but just didn’t take their scores.

A lot of their big names didn’t turn up and that’s not like them so Scotstown will be fearing a backlash from that this weekend.

Where I think the game will be won and lost is on the Scotstown kick-out. If Glen are brave and go for a full aggressive press on Beggan then I think they can get joy from it.

In the semi-final, when Trillick applied serious pressure on the kick-out, they got a massive return so that’s an area to look out for.

I understand that by applying a full press you allow Beggan the opportunity to go very long over the top, but that’s the risk with being brave.

I have written here before about the addition of Jack McCarron (pictured) and how important he can be for this Scotstown team.

They will need a big performance from him on Sunday to get over the line. Scotstown have suffered heartbreak on a number of occasions in recent times so they will be hoping and praying that this is their year but they won’t need me to tell them that they have a massive task on their hands.

Can they do it? Of course they can with the squad that they have but they will need a lot to go their way. At the start of the competition I fancied Glen and that hasn’t changed.

In fact, it has grown stronger since their poor semi-final display because a wounded Glen is twice as dangerous. Glen by three.

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