Experience can trump youth this Sunday
It’s a case of the young guns against the experienced campaigners when St. Brigid’s and Kilglass lock horns in the 2017 Junior ‘A’ football final on Sunday at Dr. Hyde Park. It promises to be a fascinating decider with the prospect of some great football from both sides.
Kilglass, to their credit, have powered their way back into this year’s final after the heartbreak of losing out to Creggs after a replay last year. The season did not start well for them as they lost to Western Gaels, Clann na nGael and St. Brigid’s in the early stages. However, they beat St. Ronan’s and Pádraig Pearses and scraped into the quarter-finals.
Since they qualified for the knockout stages, they have really come good and have played some great football in their last two games. They scored 3-15 in a 16-point win against Roscommon Gaels and 0-17 as they beat Clann na nGael by nine points in an impressive semi-final display.
Kilglass have experienced players in every line of the field. Leo Cox, Michael McCormack, Cian Diffley and Richard Dooner in defence are all playing well. Tommy Cox and Gavin Tully form an excellent midfield partnership and the platform for much of the Kilglass attacking threat.
Up front, Barry Conroy and Pierse Bolger will spearhead the attack. Bolger is a great talent; his displays against Roscommon Gaels and Clann were excellent and he remains a serious threat. Kilglass will certainly be hoping the rate of improvement that they have shown in the last two games can be repeated on Sunday.
Brigid’s have been excellent in this junior championship so far. They are usually overshadowed by the exploits of their senior team but this year the club have made a conscious effort to ensure that the junior team gets as much respect as the seniors and I have been very impressed with them.
They are principally a young team sprinkled with a number of experienced players. They have lost only once in this championship (to Clann na nGael) and those wins included a 2-10 to 2-8 win against Kilglass Gaels. In addition, they have put up some very impressive totals.
David Grehan, David Nestor and Alan Daly are the experienced defenders while at midfield the youthful Conor Gleeson is partnered by Eamon Cunnane. Up front, Brigid’s have some very impressive performers. John Cunningham, Cian McDonnell, Keelan Byrne and Joey Cunniffe have been prolific in this championship.
Having seen both sides in action in the knockout stages of the championship on two occasions, I am looking forward to this clash of styles in what could make for an excellent contest.
If the Brigid’s attack gets going Kilglass will be in trouble but I am going to side with Kilglass to get over the line this time. The hurt and pain of their defeat last year will spur them on and they are the choice to win narrowly.
Prediction: Kilglass Gaels.