GAA Football

Galbally's McGarrity delighted to be busy in the depths of winter

Galbally's Enda McGarrity makes an early goal challenge on Dungloe keeper Danny Rodgers during the Ulster Club Intermediate Football Championship semi-final played at Celtic Park on Sunday Picture: Margaret McLaughlin.
Francis Mooney

A COUPLE of weeks of training ground slog as winter bites won't faze Enda McGarrity and his Galbally team-mates.

With a provincial final appearance on the way, the pain will be minimal, the potential rewards a driving force as they prepare to take on Corduff for the Ulster Club IFC title.

The Tyrone men overcame Drumlane in Sunday's semi-final to reach the decider for the second time in four years, having fallen at the last hurdle in 2019.

“We're not too worried about the training. Really we're relishing this opportunity, it doesn't come along too often,” said midfielder McGarrity.

“And there's plenty of bad days in football. This time last year we were in a relegation battle, so we're definitely happy with where we are, and with another two weeks of hard work to come.”

Galbally's Ulster run is a welcome bonus following a successful domestic season which saw them reclaim their place in senior football following last year's relegation.

“It wasn't something that we had planned or that we thought we would see again, but we have learned a lot from losses and performance s this year, and we're happy to be in another Ulster final.”

On a blustery evening at Celtic Park, the Pearses racked up the scores in a wind-assisted first half to build a buffer to the inevitable Dungloe fightback after the break.

And an opportunist Sean Murphy goal made the task facing the Donegal side all the more challenging.

“Playing football at this time of year, you have to expect a game of two halves every now and again, and that's certainly what that was.

“But we were happy enough to have had that wee comfort zone going into the second half, because we really had a slack performance in the second half, I think we only got 1-2. We'll have to address that,” said McGarrity.

For the final 20 minutes it was a case of containment, and shoring up the channels as their opponents attacked in waves, desperately seeking the scores that would rescue their season.

“They came back at us again in the last ten minutes, but thankfully we were able to hold out.

“We know each other very well. We have come up through the youth ranks together, we're all in around a similar age.

“And we trust each other on the ball, which is a big thing.

“That hasn't always been there, it has developed as the year has gone on, and thankfully it showed for a good part of the game.”

Three years ago it was Monaghan side Magheracloone that denied Galbally in the Ulster IFC final, and it's another Farney side that stands in their way as they chase a first provincial title.

“It's Monaghan opposition again. I have heard about Corduff, and I know they're a serious outfit. They beat Magheracloone, who beat us a few years back.

“We expect to come up against serious opposition, but we'll give it a good rattle. It will be a big test.”

GAA Football