Experience could see Galbally past Corduff

Monaghan's Seamus McEnaney the Ulster GAA Senior Football Championship Semi-Final between Derry and Monaghan  at The Athletic Grounds Armagh on 05-15-2022. Pic Philip Walsh
Monaghan's Seamus McEnaney the Ulster GAA Senior Football Championship Semi-Final between Derry and Monaghan at The Athletic Grounds Armagh on 05-15-2022. Pic Philip Walsh

How much weight does experience carry? There is often quite a lot made of experience but how much it counts in terms of actually winning a game will be put to the test today.

Galbally have been here before, they know the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts that go along with preparing for an Ulster final.

They lined out on the big day back in 2019 but they fell at the final hurdle, to Monaghan opposition Magheracloone.

This time around the face another Farney County representative, in the form of Corduff and they’re taking their journey, which started in the preliminary round, one step at a time.

They’re riding the crest of a wave at the minute, and their battling qualities have been on show even before their Ulster campaign.

An injury time Keith McEnaney goal snatched the Monaghan title from Magheracloone while Corduff came from ten behind to win the league one week later against the same opposition.

In Ulster, they were the better side against both Shane O’Neill’s and Saval but had to call on their never say die attitude again at the semi-final stage.

Castlerahan made a dream start, netting inside the opening twenty seconds, but could never pull away sufficiently to give themselves some breathing space.

Corduff were on their coat-tails and showed unshakeable desire and determination to remain in the competition and that eventually paid off, with a late Cillian Marron score.

“It’s been a brilliant journey for the club. For the last 8-10 weeks we have really gathered momentum among supporters,” said Corduff boss Seamus McEnaney.

“Probably the most enjoyable part is when you’re heading to games and when the games are over, you’re meeting people you never seen at football games before with our club. The whole community has gathered round us and it’s a great feeling within the club.”

That’s been the Corduff story so far this season. No matter what happens between the first and last whistle, they’re right in the game coming up the stretch.

And Galbally know that. They know they’re in for a real battle. But they’ve been here before and that’s perhaps the biggest difference in the two teams.

Plus, Galbally have been one of the standout performers across all levels in Ulster this year. Their quarter final tally of 7-12 against Glenullin is the biggest score put up in a single game throughout all the Ulster games in 2022.

Their firepower sees them as the top scorers in the competition and Daniel Kerr, Conor Donaghy, Liam Rafferty and Sean Murphy lead the way on the scoring front

But their facing a different animal this evening. In three games, Corduff have conceded just 2-18, and average of six points a game. They’re a physical and aggressive defensive unit that will push this Galbally forward line right to the edge.

“Galbally are a seasoned senior team in Tyrone, and they are hot favourites to win the Ulster championship and the All-Ireland,” continued McEnaney. “It’s a huge task for us to be competitive at the weekend.

“They scored freely right through the Tyrone championship. I’ve seen them, I watched them closely and their scoring power is phenomenal – they were in the Ulster club final three years’ ago and they have an awful lot of additions to that team and their firepower now compared to what it was three years’ ago is a completely different aspect.

“We know the task that’s ahead of us but we’re proud of where we come from and privileged to be in the position, we’re in. We’re Corduff people from a very small parish and we’ll give it our best shot on the day.”

Corduff will throw everything at it, as you’d expect, but experience may just decide this one.