Enda McGarrity - I'm privileged to represent Galbally at Croke Park

Enda McGarrity leaps into action for Galbally against St Naul's of Donegal during the 2019 Ulster Club Intermediate Football semi-final. Picture Margaret McLaughlin
Enda McGarrity leaps into action for Galbally against St Naul's of Donegal during the 2019 Ulster Club Intermediate Football semi-final. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

Despite being only 26, Enda McGarrity will soon be going into his 10th season playing for Galbally seniors and the undoubted highlight will come this Sunday when the Pearse's take on Munster Champions Rathmore in the AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Final at Croke Park.

Enda had been a real driving force for his club at underage level and has taken that into senior football as well as he is one of their leaders with a vital role to play at midfield. He is eagerly looking forward to the final but knows that Galbally have to play the game and not the occasion.

"Its a privilege to get the opportunity to represent your club at Croke Park," said Enda.

"It will be a special day for our whole community and while it is one to enjoy for all the players we have to make the most of it and go out and perform to the best of our ability."

Galbally were one of four sides who made the drop down from Senior ranks in Tyrone at the end of 2021 so the Intermediate championship was always going to be a tough title to win and that is how it transpired.

"To be honest it was difficult to see this coming (getting to the All-Ireland Final)," admits Enda.

"There is no doubt that the Tyrone championship stood to us. It was very, very competitive with a lot of quality sides in it with one as good as the other. We had to pull out the stops to beat Pomeroy in the first round as well as Edendork in the final but there is no doubt that we rode our luck a little in the semi final against Killeeshil.

They really pushed us to the pin of our collars before we came through after extra time. It was a very tough championship to win and it did us no harm going into the Ulster series as we had been well tested."

Last weekend against Galway champions Dunmore MacHale's, Enda's cousin Ronan Nugent hit a hat-trick of goals in the first half against the wind to leave them in a good place. In the second half though they failed to drive home their advantage and slipped behind with three minutes to go before a Daniel Kerr goal won the day for them.

Nugent was the undoubted 'man of the match' but according to Enda it has been a trait throughout their championship run that different players have stepped up when it was needed most.

"That's the one thing about our side, somebody different has stood up when it was needed throughout our championship run," he said.

"There is no star man in the squad or no egos; we are all in this together. There is a great desire and commitment in this squad of players. We have all played together for a number of years with the club at different levels and that is a plus. There is never any panic when we go behind. There are cool heads and we just keep concentrating on football."

In that second half last weekend the Pearse's kicked a number of wides in the third quarter and Enda knows that they will have to improve on that if they are to become the third Tyrone side to win this competition.

"We hit six wides in a row and we know that we can't afford to do that on Sunday," he said.

"We have a lot of work to do this week on shot selection and decision making but we will be well prepared for the challenge.

There is no doubt from what I have seen of Rathmore they are a quality side. They are strong all over the pitch and are good at driving forward. They will go in as favourites as based on league positions they are one of the top sides in Kerry and no doubt it will be our biggest test."