Sean O’Mahony’s and O’Raghallaigh’s is going to be a case of who wants it more in this weekend’s Intermediate Championship semi-final..
After being dumped down to Intermediate grade in 2009, the O’Mahony’s are keen to get back to where they believe they belong, Senior Championship and they know this year is a perfect opportunity to do so before they get permanently stuck in the mix in what is known as the hardest grade tow in.
For O’Raghallaigh’s though, they have the anguish of last year still burning in their bellies as they missed out on the Seamus Flood Cup when they lost against the story of 2010, Dundalk Young Irelands.
The semi-final is one which is somewhat unexpected as Sean O’Mahony’s turned over the Geraldines in a heated match - both on and off the field - last week to book their spot in the next round.
It was considered a shock in some circles, especially to those who earmarked the Gers as potential champions this year.
In truth, it’s no more than what the O’Mahony’s deserve. They have used their strengths well, such as the powerful of Brendan Nordon, David Dowling and David Crawley to good effect. After coming out of a tight group which consisted of St Brides, themselves and Dundalk rivals, Clan na Gaels, not many gave the O’Mahony’s a chance at the Gers, but they could be this year’s surprise package.
To get to the final though, they will have to use the aforementioned trio to full effect as the O’Raghallaigh’s - unbeaten this year in competition - will want to get this game out of the way so that they can focus on going one step better than last year.
Colin Kelly’s side nearly slipped up against Roche Emmets in the group stages, but is as close as anyone has come in this Championship to catching them off-guard.
Like the Gers though, they have a lot of young players in their side, so if they are not up for a challenge against the O’Mahony’s, they will struggle.