GAA Football

The Moy must focus for one final push for prized All-Ireland honours

Francis Mooney

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Croke Park will turn a familiar shade of sky blue today as The Moy strike out for All-Ireland glory.

They will bid to become only the second Tyrone club to win the All-Ireland IFC title, Cookstown having collected the trophy in 2010 and again in 2013.

Opponents Michael Glavey's are chasing their own slice of history, as no Roscommon club has ever claimed this title.

Records, however, will be far from the minds of the Moy players as they make one final push for a prize that has become an obsession.

The ninth game in their drama-packed championship run represents the most significant occasion in the club's history, and one which the players are determined to mark in style.

Skipper Eunan Deeney is fortunate to be surrounded by leaders, foremost among them the Cavanagh brothers, Sean and Colm, whose vast experience of Croke Park battles will be invaluable.

Harry Loughran will be looking to add to the eight goals he has bagged in the series to date, but it's the Tir na nOg defence which has laid the foundations for Moy's success.

Tomas McNicholl, Thomas Conlon, Niall Conlon, Patrick Mackle and Mark Gribbin have formed a solid unit which has consistently performed heroics, and another stoic display today will go a long way towards another triumphant afternoon.

Like the Ulster champions, Michael Glavey's have displayed character in coming through some tight contests on their way to Croke Park.

Star performers Conor Hussey, who captains the side from centre back, Gary Patterson and midfielder Caoileann Fitzmaurice have turned in towering displays as they won county and provincial titles, conquering Connacht with victories over Bohola Moy Davitts and Claregalway, before scoring a 0-13 to 0-11 All-Ireland semi-final win over Wexford's Kilanerin.

Moy will have to keep an eye on score-getters Stephen Comer, Andrew Glennon and Cathal Heneghan if they are to succeed in another shut-out.

“Pretty much like ourselves, they'll see this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go all the way and win an All-Ireland title,” he said.

“We know it's going to be a tough test,” said Moy's joint manager Gavin McGilly, who along with Audi Kelly has been researching the strengths and weaknesses of today's opponents.

“The GAA now is a small world, and everybody knows somebody. We'll have our homework done on them, as we have done on all the teams we have played.

“They will have access to footage of us, of course, as well.

“They have plenty of experience in their team, with three or four lads who have played for the Roscommon senior team. We know that they're not to be taken lightly.”

The Tir na nOgs have been rewarded for their discipline and organisation with a series of narrow successes, and they have developed a formula that suits their players.

“The fellows have learned the hard way over the years, in Tyrone championship games, where they might have been squeezed out in games,” said McGilly.

“This year, we really value a point in any game, and that has come through in a lot of our results, where we have squeezed over the line by a point or two.

“But on the flip side of it, team we're playing a team that won a Connacht semi-final by a couple of points and they won an All-Ireland semi-final by a couple of points.

“So we know that they'll relish the battle heading down the home strait as well. If it goes to the wire again, I trust that our boys have the stuff to see it out and push for home.”

PATHS TO THE FINAL

Roscommon IFC

October 15 2017

Michael Glavey's 0-12 Fuerty 0-10

Connacht IFC Championship

November 5

Semi-final: Michael Glavey's 0-19 Moy Davitts 1-15

November 19

Final: Michael Glavey's 3-14 Claregalway 1-12

Tyrone IFC

October 8 2017

Final: The Moy 2-5 Derrylaughan 1-7

Ulster IFC Championship

October 29

Quarter-final: The Moy 0-9 Carrickmacross 1-5

November 12

Semi-final: The Moy 2-15 Newbridge 1-9

November 26

Final: The Moy 0-9 Rostrevor 0-8

All-Ireland IFC Championship

Jan 27 2018

Semi-final: Michael Glavey's (Roscommon) 0-13 Kilanerin (Wexford) 0-11

Semi-final: The Moy (Tyrone)1-5 An Ghaeltacht (Kerry) 0-6

All-Ireland Championship Final

The Moy (Tyrone) v Michael Glavey's (Roscommon)

Saturday Feb 3

AIB All-Ireland Club Junior: Football Championship final (2pm) Croke Park: Knocknagree (Cork) v Multyfarnham (West Meath (B Tiernan, Dublin);

Sunday Feb 4

AIB All-Ireland Club Intermediate Hurling Championship final: (3.45pm) Croke Park: Kanturk (Cork) v St Patrick's, Ballyragget (Kilkenny) (J Murphy, Limerick);

AIB Club Junior Hurling Championship final: (2pm) Croke Park: Ardmore (Waterford) v St Mogue's, Fethard (Wexford) (S Hynes, Galway)

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