By Niall Gartland
GALBALLY midfielder Enda McGarrity knows it won’t be easy to get the better of Edendork, but if they do fall short, it won’t be for a lack of moral fortitude, as they say.
The Pearses have shown immense resilience throughout their championship campaign – they didn’t muster a single score in the opening 25 minutes of their first-round clash against rivals Pomeroy, and they were even more resilient in their semi-final win over a in-form Killeeshil side.
Galbally looked like they were headed for the exit door, but a smashing late free from their dead ball specialist Conor Donaghy sent the game into extra-time, and they eventually pulled through after one almighty battle.
McGarrity, who captained the side to their first ever Intermediate Championship in 2019, was impressed by how his colleagues stood up to the plate when the fat was in the fire.
“It wasn’t the first time we’ve been in a scenario where we’ve had to come from behind. It wasn’t our best game [against Killeeshil] and our performance wasn’t what our managers wanted from us.
“It was the type of game where we had to show our character, and the lads aren’t found wanting when the chips are down. There didn’t deserve to be a loser, I’m friendly with a lot of the Killeeshil lads and they deserved more out of the game.”
McGarrity, who picked up a knock early in the semi-final clash, admitted it wasn’t ideal that they only had a five-day turnaround from their last-eight win over Tattyreagh.
“It wasn’t ideal, we’re not ones for complaining but there’s a lot to be said for player welfare. It was a short turnaround and a few of our lads were carrying injuries. At the same time we’ve no real complaints, we’re in the final now so we have to be happy with that.”
He also hailed the influence of their score-getter-in-chief, Conor Donaghy, who weighed in with 1-9 against Killeeshil. They know they’ll probably need a better spread of scorers to get the better of Edendork, however.
“The kick that brought the game to extra-time must’ve been from a good 50 metres out. It takes a special talent to hold your nerve like that. He’s the only man in our team who can take those kind of frees, so it adds a lot to our armoury. We know we can’t just rely on him so we’ll all have to weigh in against Edendork.”
Galbally made huge strides under their previous management team spearheaded by John Moylan, and the new men on the line – Joe McMahon and Paddy Crozier – have carried on that good work. “The experience those two men bring to proceedings is second-to-none. The previous team did great work for three years, and we’re lucky that there’s been no backwards step, and we’re learning a lot from Paddy and Joe.”