Pomeroy's Hugh Pat McGeary is fully tuned in to Castledawson's potential
HUGH PAT McGEARY knows all about the passion and pride that lies at the heart of club football in county Derry.
Often in the past, the interests of county teams have suffered due to the primacy of the domestic game. Pomeroy’s captain doesn’t have a lot of information about Sunday’s Ulster Club IFC opponents Castledawson, but he is certain that they will uphold the noble tradition of Oak Leaf devotion to the club.
“In Derry, they’re real big club men and they give everything to the club, so we know what to expect from them,” said McGeary.
Castledawson displayed courage and self-belief in staging a second-half comeback to get the better of Whitecross in the quarter-final. On the same afternoon, Pomeroy had just completed a comprehensive victory over Arva in an early throw-in, and their players were dipping in to social media platforms to find out who their semi-final opponents would be.
Initial updates from Owenbeg suggested that it would be the Armagh side, but the tweets began to change their tune as the St Malachy’s stepped it up in the second-half: “At the end of our game, we thought Whitecross had won, because they were four or five points up in the second half, but then we heard at the end Castledawson had won," he said.
“That just goes to show that they’re a never-say-die team. No matter how much they’re down and how little time is left, they’ll fight to the end. We’ll have to be prepared for that, but we have met a lot of teams like that this year, the likes of Eskra and Aghyaran, who nearly nipped us with their never-say-die attitude. When you’re playing teams like that, you can never fall asleep at all in a game.”
Pomeroy’s scintillating display against Cavan champions Arva highlighted a trend which has seen them improve with each championship game. They dismantled the challenge of the Breffni men with stylish ease on their way to a 1-16 to 0-7 victory.
“We have been improving since the very first game against Aghyaran, and we’re maybe clicking at just the right time. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going into the next game,” he said.
Plunkett's are seeking a second Ulster title at this level, and have a handful of survivors from the team that went all the way to the All-Ireland final following their 2004 success, such as Ciaran McKenna, Denver Nugent and Ollie McCreesh.