All roads lead to Croke Park as The Moy men go in search of All Ireland glory

St John's Primary School pupils show their support for local GAA club Moy Tir Na nÓg ahead of the final in Croke Park this weekend. Picture by Mal McCann

IT will be an exodus never seen before in one Co Tyrone village as The Moy men take their last step towards All-Ireland club football glory.

All roads lead to Croke Park tomorrow as the community gets behind Moy Tir Na nÓg as they hope to add a new chapter to the club's 100-year history book.

Buses and countless cars are set to leave the village square as GAA supporters make the journey to Dublin to proudly cheer on the club as they go in search of their first ever All Ireland title.

If their dream turns to reality and the Co Tyrone side secures victory over Michael Glaveys of Roscommon -not only will be it their first All Ireland title, but it will also be the club's first major championship trophy in 35 years.

For weeks, the club's distinctive light blue and white colours have appeared in more and more abundance around the quaint village as residents and supporters embrace the build-up.

And after securing their place last Saturday in dramatic fashion by turning a three-point deficit into a two-point victory, that quest for glory has intensified with club flags and bunting festooned on lamp posts and posters adorning almost every street corner.

For publican PB Laverty, who has been involved in the club for decades, it has been a day he has dreamed of for years.

"There's a great atmosphere, its been like that since we got through to the county final in October," he said.

"But over the last week since the game on Saturday, there's been an even greater buzz about.

"It's great for the community, it's brought everyone together and new people have got involved, which is fantastic.

"To see the club get this far has been great, but we have come so far this year.

"There will be a party one way or the other."

At Larry Macneice's antiques shop on the Square, flags hang from the building and two bicycles parked outside his shop have been repainted in the club colours.

"Everyone is behind the team, I think they can do it," he said.

"It's been great in the run-up to the final, they have a great chance to win it."

The Moy Tir Na nÓg player Collie Cavanagh, also Tyrone's 2017 Allstar, also described how the community spirit is even more evident this year.

"It's a really friendly, welcoming community and anyone that comes in gets welcomed with open arms," he said.

"It's a really nice place to live in. It always has that sense of community and community drive, especially this year.

"Even when we didn't have success everyone was still behind the club and going to the games. It's a great place to be."

And that spirit is alive in the next generation of The Moy with the excitement of the impending final clearly evident at St John's Primary School, where many of the players are past pupils and their own children, including Sean Cavanagh's two daughters, now attend.

Pupils have been throwing their weight behind the club with a 'blue and white day' held at the school yesterday.

Principal Louise McKnight said: "When they got to the county finals, the children were so excited, but that excitement has built even more in the run-up to the final.

"It's unbelievable how much the interest has increased over that time.

"It's a really historic day for the community."

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