By Niall Gartland
RAMOR boss John Brady hopes they can adapt to the loss of a number of their marquee forwards for the knock-out rounds of the championship.
Their quarter-final clash against Mullahoran this weekend is a potential banana skin, not only because the Dreadnoughts have exceeded expectations, but because they’ve been hit hard by injuries in the group stages.
James Brady is ruled out for the rest of the season after sustaining an ACL injury in their first group stage clash against Kingscourt Ado Cole was forced off with injury against Killygarry and is a major doubt for this weekend, while Sean McEvoy, a key player in last year’s championship triumph, is unavailable at present.
Manager of the side, John Brady, hopes they can find a way to adapt to the loss of some key men.
“James is out, Sean McAvoy is away and Ado came off injured in our last match. We’re without the forward line that scored a total of 1-16 in the final last year, potentially none of them could be available for Sunday. We lost James on our first day out against Kingscourt but we still managed to get two wins from our opening two matches. After that we probably struggled without our scoring forwards but we’re trying to adapt and hopefully we show improvements against Mullahoran.”
Mullahoran won the Division Two title prior to the championship and have fared extremely well, winning three of their four group stage clashes. They were trounced by Cavan Gaels in the other match (the final scoreline read 1-20 to a miserly four points) but that was one of those days where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.
“That was probably a bit of a false result for them in the middle of the fixtures,” said Brady. “Cavan Gaels got a bit of a run on them, they’re able to do that sometimes. Mullahoran have won three games in the championship already, that’s something we weren’t able to do, so in that respect they’re a very dangerous outfit to meet in the quarter-finals.”
It’s a tall order for Ramor to successfully defend their title given their injury problems, but they’re one step away from the semi-finals, and after that, who knows what could happen in one of the most balanced club championships in the province. Brady is pleased to have made it out of the group stages, and they’re only three steps away from getting their hands on the St Oliver Plunkett Trophy for the second year running.
“That’s it, getting to the quarter-finals is your main priority at the start of the group stages. There’s only going to be one winner on Sunday, it’s knock-out football from here on in, and if you’ve any ambitions at all you’re going to have to win the quarter-finals anyway.”