13 Aug 2022

O’Connell’s come in on the blind side

Typical, innit? I leave O’Connell’s out of the Intermediate Championship equation and what happens? They skate up, that’s what.

Typical, innit? I leave O’Connell’s out of the Intermediate Championship equation and what happens? They skate up, that’s what.

I’d been on to the Bellingham boys like a leech most seasons, naming them as the team most likely to win the Seamus Flood Cup. Every time they let me down. So last year and again this time around I gave them the elbow, going instead for O’Rahilly’s (winners) in 2011 and Geraldines. Not that I’d have got the treble had I named them.

St Patrick’s were the selection for senior, and won in a hack canter, but like all of Inside Track’s other tipsters, I made Oliver Plunketts the nap for junior and we saw what happened to them.

It won’t concern O’Connell’s that their joust with Clan na Gael on Sunday produced a final that did little justice to the competition or the occasion. Victory has qualified them for the Senior Championship for the first time, and ask anyone connected with the 125-year-old club is there a better way to celebrate a birthday and you know what the answer will be.

O’Connell’s season has still some way to go. A good run in the senior league has them through to the Cardinal O’Donnell Cup final, in which they play St Patrick’s. There’s also the Leinster Intermediate Club Championship.

The Co Board had hoped to play the O’Donnell Cup match next Sunday, but that, according to long-time club associate, Jim Byrne – he was secretary for years, and a good one at that – was never a runner. Even if Sunday’s final had resulted differently, this week would still have more sip than Zip in it, and no way could it end with a football match as important as that.

This is the second year in succession in which Clans have gone down in the final. They were good in the preliminaries and also distinguished themselves in the league, just missing out on the title. Sunday, however, wasn’t one of their better days, and by claiming just one score from play didn’t give themselves much of a chance.

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