By Michael McMullan
DERRY senior hurling manager Johnny McGarvey sees Saturday’s Christy Ring Cup final showdown with Meath as a “50-50” clash and hopes it’s his side that rises to the occasion.
The Royals were narrow winners when the sides met at Owenbeg in the league stages of the competition, but Saturday (Croke Park, 5pm) is the game that matters as Derry pursue a first title.
“To win it, it would be amazing,” McGarvey said. “We have a serious job. We played that (previous Meath) match the following night we know exactly what we are up against and they are two-time winners of the Christy Ring.”
Derry bounced back with a vital win over London in Ruislip before easing past Mayo to setup another final.
There is a great buzz in the county on the back of the u-20 hurlers winning their All-Ireland title and last weekends the minor footballers followed their senior counterparts by winning their Ulster title on penalties.
“I would safely say it will be 50-50 and whoever rises to the occasion better,” McGarvey said of his side’s chances on Saturday.
“Whoever prepares better will get the job done on the day. We have talked about wanting to achieve something that has never been done before.
“To do that, we have to win the Christy Ring. We are not going to Croke Park to do the tour; we are over the moon to be going to be there. We are delighted with the way we playing and with the way we are training.
“The only thing that matters is actually winning the Christy Ring now. Going to Croke Park on Saturday and beating Meath.”