By Oisin Duddy
IT’S fair to say that Moy captain Declan Conroy is looking to this Saturday’s showdown in the Tyrone Intermediate Championship final against Pomeroy (O’Neill’s Healy Park, 6pm).
The Moy, who haven’t won an Intermediate Championship since their Tyrone, Ulster and All-Ireland treble in 2017-18, will hope to deliver a performnance befitting of the occasion against a strong Pomeroy side.
When the teams played in the league Pomeroy won on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-12. The Plunketts will desire the same outcome as the last time, but the Moy will also have the grit in their teeth as they bid for the first title in six years.
The Moy hadn’t the greatest of starts to the 2023 season though they finished a reasonable sixth in the Division two table.
There was a switch of managers near the end of the league with local hero Sean Cavanagh stepping into the breach and they haven’t looked back since.
Their opponents in the final Pomeroy are also hoping to win their first title at adult level in years, their last being in 2016 when they won the Tyrone and Ulster double.
With both clubs looking to end their mini-drought, the game could come down to wants it more.
Declan Conroy attributes their change in fortunes in large part to their new manager Sean Cavanagh:
“Sean wanted to change how we were playing with more emphasis on our defending, he (Sean) thought we were sort of lacking in the defence, and got us structurally set up.”
This change in approach has worked out so far and they overcame Clonoe in the semi-final of the championship. Clonoe had been pre-match favourites as they won the Division Two title and had beaten the Moy by 5-11 to 1-11 in the league. The Moy learnt from that experience and beat them in the championship arena by 2-13 0-13.
Declan says he will be looking for his brother Michael and Ryan Coleman to bag the scores for the Moy.
“Aye I suppose we try and feed them boys as much ball as we can and let them do all the damage.”
But Declan insists they have strong players throughout the team who are also making a hugely positive impact.
“You have boys kicking scores as well such as Diarmuid McKeown and Steve Donaghy, it’s great to see other boys doing well too.”
Declan is conscious Pomeroy beat them in the league and knows they have players to look out for such as their main stars Kieran McGeary and captain Frank Burns who were both key Tyrone players when they won the All-Ireland in 2021 beating Mayo.
Both are solid middle eight players which will mean it’s a tough challenge for The Moy to get past them.
“They have beaten us in the league, and probably deserved to beat us that day, they have a number of county players obviously that we all know about, it’s the players that we don’t know as much about, the likes of Ryan Loughran has been scoring and Ronan Duffin been scoring, deadly midfielders, even Jude Campbell as well, they have a brilliant team all round.”
Declan rounded it off by saying “it should be a good match for the neutral, and I’m looking forward to playing in it.”