These are exciting times for the Padraig Pearses club. The senior footballers came from four points down to almost snatch the title from Castlerea last Sunday for the first time in the club’s history – and they live to fight another day. The Pearses senior hurlers got to their third Roscommon SHC final in a row on Saturday after beating Tremane in the semi-final. Pearses won all seven hurling championship games, putting up huge scores along the way.
On Sunday they face neighbours and deadly rivals Four Roads in the 2008 SHC final in Athleague.
Tom Carey is a life-long Pearses GAA man. A Pearses man through and through, having played football and hurling for the club over the years. This year Tom is the Pearses’ senior hurling team manager and he hopes to lead the club to their first SHC title since 1987. Tom was a member of that Pearses team that won the title 21 years ago.
I spoke to Tom on Tuesday as he finished preparations for the 2008 final against old rivals, neighbours and Roscommon club hurling kingpins Four Roads. I put it to Tom that he must be very happy going into the final after such an impressive campaign and a big win in the semi-final against Tremane.
“We had a great run to the final surely and we played nicely against Tremane but I know and realise full well that playing in a Roscommon senior hurling final against Four Roads is a different proposition altogether. They have the tradition behind them and they have been playing well recently. I know what to expect and the players know what to expect too. However I have to say that confidence is high in the Pearses squad and we are really looking forward to the game” he said.
Pearses have been beaten in the last two county finals and Tom says that there is a fierce hunger among the Pearses players to succeed this year. “The lads have come back after two final defeats and it’s a great credit to them. They are so determined to succeed and win the title this year” he said.
Tom says that he has been impressed with the application shown by the players at training. “I couldn’t have asked the players for any more effort. They have been just brilliant. There have been great leaders, the likes of Dara Mulvey and Shane Sweeney and others….but everyone has put their shoulders to the wheel this year” he continued.
The manager says that the atmosphere in the Pearses club is fantastic at the moment, given the success of the senior footballers too. “The success of the footballers has been a great help to us. The buzz in the club is just brilliant at the moment. I get on really well with (Pearses senior football team manager) Eamon Mahon and we co-operate on everything. It would be just a dream come true if we could win the two titles but I will have to concentrate on the hurling and try to complete the first part of that double if we can” he said.
Tom says that Pearses will not be leaving any of their efforts in the dressing rooms on Sunday. “One thing that is for certain…we will be giving this final 100% on Sunday. We will be going flat out to win it and that’s the most important thing. We think we are good enough to win it but it will all happen when the ball is thrown in on Sunday and hopefully we will come out on top when the final whistle is blown. A point (margin) will do!” he concluded.