Playing on the big stage

Shaun Casey has a look at Ulster teams that have fielded on All-Ireland Intermediate final day…

Galbally – 2023

GALBALLY were undoubtedly the best team in Ulster and saw off Glenullin, Dungloe and Corduff before qualifying for the All-Ireland decider with a four-point win over Dunmore MacHales of Galway on an unusual scoreline of 4-4 to 1-9. They clashed with Kerry opponents Rathmore in the final and a haul of 1-3 from Kingdom goalkeeper Shane Ryan (who plays corner-forward for his club) ultimately separated the teams in the end as Galbally lost out 1-11 to 0-11.

Steelstown – 2022

STEELSTOWN became the first Derry club to climb the steps of the Hogan Stand and capture the All-Ireland Intermediate title in 2022. Only one Derry club, Eoghan Rua, Coleraine, had ever reached the final, back in 2007, so it was a historic moment not only for Steelstown but for the entire Oakleaf County. They were much too strong for Meath representatives Trim in the All-Ireland final and goals from Ben McCarron, Cahir McMonagle and Emmett Deane were the main scores in their 3-14 to 2-5 victory.

Magheracloone – 2020

MAGHERACLOONE won their first-ever Ulster title in 2019, seeing off Tyrone opponents Galbally in the decider, and went all the way to the All-Ireland final. They became only the third Monaghan team ever to get that far in the competition and unfortunately for the Mitchell’s, they’re the only Monaghan club to lose an All-Ireland final at this level as well. Galway’s Oughterard were much too good in the final and they ran out comfortable ten-point winners in the end, 2-16 to 0-12.

Naomh Éanna – 2019

IN 2018, Naomh Éanna became the first ever club from Antrim to win the Ulster Intermediate crown after two previously failed attempts by Moneyglass and Dunloy. Naomh Éanna were full value for their 2-11 to 1-10 victory over Cavan side Mullahoran and a convincing win over Galway side An Spidéal saw them reach Croke Park and the All-Ireland showpiece. Kilcummin of Kerry were a step too far in the final and despite hitting the net twice, Naomh Éanna were beaten by 15 points in the end as the Kerry side struck five goals of their own.

Moy – 2018

AFTER two All-Ireland victories for Cookstown almost a decade beforehand, Moy became just the second Tyrone club to succeed in the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship when they overcame Michael Glaveys of Roscommon. Gavin McGilly’s side had to battle past Rostrevor in the Ulster final, winning by just one point, before scraping through the challenge of Kerry’s An Ghaeltacht in the semi-final. The final was a bit more straight forward, with Tom Loughran’s early goal setting them on their way.

Truagh Gaels – 2014

THE Gaels ended a short eight-year break for a Monaghan team to reach Croke Park and they followed up on Inniskeen’s example by claiming the All-Ireland Intermediate title. The Monaghan men saw off Tyrone’s Eskra in the Ulster final by five points before reaching the All-Ireland final where they came up against Mayo’s Kiltane. The two sides played out a hugely entertaining encounter, but Truagh had the edge and goals from star man Daniel McKenna (who finished with 1-7) and Mark Counihan saw them win by eight points.

Cookstown – 2013

IT was the second time in four seasons that Cookstown earned the right to climb up the famed steps of the Hogan Stand as All-Ireland champions. The Fr Rock’s club, captained by three-time All-Ireland winner Owen Mulligan, needed extra-time to finally shake off Warrenpoint in the Ulster final and a goal from corner-forward James McGahan guided them to glory in the final as they overcame a Finuge side that had Kerry legends Eamon Fitzmaurice and Paul Galvin in their ranks.

Lisnaskea – 2011

THE Emmets remain the one and only Fermanagh team to have reached the Ulster final and they went all the way in 2011, winning Ulster and All-Ireland crowns. Lisnaskea defeated Monaghan’s Doohamlet in the Ulster decider and were really up against it in the All-Ireland final. They faced St James’ of Galway, who struck five unanswered points in the third quarter to take a 10-7 lead, but Lisnaskea came good and did enough to level the game and force extra-time. Niall McElroy bagged a goal in the second half of additional time to secure a famous win.

Cookstown – 2010

COOKSTOWN became Tyrone’s first-ever All-Ireland Intermediate champions in 2010, securing their inaugural Ulster and All-Ireland titles. They played out a real nip and tuck affair with Kerry side Spa in the All-Ireland final and things looked to have been going against the Fr Rock’s club as they racked up 12 wides. But things turned in their favour when midfielder Raymond Mulgrew was fouled in the square and Barry Hughes stepped up to rattle the back of the net and secure a 1-7 to 0-8 victory.

Eoghan Rua – 2007

EOGHAN Rua became Derry’s second Ulster champions in 2006 and became the first club from the Oak Leaf County to reach the All-Ireland Intermediate final. Coleraine needed a replay to see off Armagh’s Ballymacnab in the Ulster final and took on Ardfert from Kerry in the All-Ireland showpiece. It was a low scoring affair which the Kerry side edged 1-4 to 0-5 and Coleraine were left to rue a number of scoring chances throughout the game.

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