By Alan Rodgers
AN extra week to prepare will not have diminished the determination of Galbally Pearses as they get set for the re-fixed Ulster Intermediate final against Corduff this Saturday afternoon.
The heavy frost of recent days put paid to the final, which had been scheduled for last Saturday evening in Newry. It will be back to Páirc Esler this weekend, when the Tyrone Intermediate champions will hope to clinch the provincial title at the expense of the Monaghan men.
Wins over Glenullin of Derry and then Dungloe of Donegal have highlighted the abilities of the Red Hand champions. Now they will be anticipating a much tougher assignment against Seamus McEnaney’s side.
Whatever about the opposition, the additional week has only served to whet the appetite of the Galbally supporters even more. The excitement which has surrounded their efforts in the later stages of the Tyrone Championship and now in Ulster is acknowledged by their stylish half-back, Marc Lennon.
“It’s a big occasion for the club and hopefully the experience of having reached the final three years ago will stand to us,” he said.
“This is our second final in four years and Corduff will definitely be well tested after coming through the preliminary round in Ulster.
“They’ve come through the hard way and we’re looking forward to meeting them. But for us it’s a very important game because we were written off a bit for the Tyrone Championship and fed into that.
“Getting the Tyrone title and back into Division football was our main aim. We’ve been taking every game as it comes and now the Ulster title is there on offer and we want to win it.”
There was no doubting the delight of the Pearses following their semi-final win over Glenullin. Now, though, a place in the All-Ireland semi-final is the massive motivating factor for a team which has blazed a trail on the championship scene this season.
“We knew at half-time in the semi-final that the game was there for the taking. There was a strong breeze and we got the goal in the second half. It means that there has been plenty to work on for the final.”
Teams from Tyrone and Monaghan have dominated the Ulster Intermediate Championship since its inception in 2004. That record of achievement will be continued this weekend, and the hope of all in the Red Hand county is that Galbally can join Stewartstown as provincial winners for 2022.