AIB All-Ireland Club Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final: Michael Glavey’s v Kilanerin on Sunday at O’Connor Park in Tullamore at 2 pm
Michael Glavey’s’ memorable journey in the 2017/2018 Intermediate Football Championship continues in Tullamore on Sunday when they will attempt to emulate St. Croan’s and reach the All-Ireland final.
Standing in their way are the Wexford and Leinster champions, Kilanerin. It promises to be a great match and a big Glavey’s and Roscommon following is expected.
Having won the Roscommon final in a very tight game against Fuerty, Glavey’s have played some wonderful football in their defeats of Mayo champions Bohola/May Davitts in Castlebar in the semi-final and against Galway title-holders Claregalway at Hyde Park in the Connacht final. A repeat of the type of football seen from Glavey’s in the Connacht final will almost certainly see them through on Sunday.
The break of a couple of months is always a worry for teams training for the All-Ireland series but the situation is the same for both sides. Glaveys have no injury worries and the biggest task for manager Iain Daly and his coaches is to get them back playing the style of football we saw in that Connacht championship.
Their opponents on Sunday, Kilanerin, are in bonus territory but they have shown great resolve and will to win in their campaign so far. They looked down and out against Kildare champions Raheens in the Leinster semi-final but they came back to pip them. Similarly in the Leinster final they came from three points down to beat Dublin side Ballyboughal by two points: 0-13 to 0-11.
Their main inspiration and driving force is the legendary Mattie Forde who lined out at full-forward. Naturally his powers have dimmed with the passing of time but he is still the focal point of their side. The team are trained by his brother Pat and by all accounts they are very fit and have a great team spirit.
Any team that is good enough to win a Leinster championship cannot be taken lightly but this is a marvellous opportunity for Glavey’s to get to an All-Ireland final. The likes of Darren O’Malley, Shane O’Malley, Gary Patterson, team captain Conor Hussey, John Finan, Caoileann Fitzmaurice, Cathal Heneghan and Andy Glennon will all have to do their stuff on Sunday and if they do there is no reason why they cannot win this semi-final.
I am aware of the qualities of this Kilanerin side as I have relations living in Wexford for many years past and they are a very compact side who will not give up but Glavey’s have the players to win this match if they apply themselves properly on the day.
The excellent surface at Dr Hyde Park suited the Glavey’s style of play in the Connacht final and they responded accordingly. The venue on Sunday, O’Connor Park, is another lovely playing surface and it also suits Glavey’s.
Every game in a championship is different and it doesn’t matter what style they play as long as they win the game. But I am confident that the Glavey’s players will rise to the occasion and that on Sunday at 3.30 pm or so they will be preparing for an All-Ireland final clash against Moy of Tyrone or An Gaeltacht of Kerry in Croke Park in a couple of weeks’ time.
Prediction: Michael Glavey’s