IT’S not often a team wins 11 of their last 12 games and goes into a championship final as underdogs, but that is the position that Glenfin find themselves in this week.
Liam Breen’s Glenfin stayed in Division 2 thanks to an excellent late surge, and they have continued their good form in the championship.
The Pairc Tabhoige club bring a lot of momentum into Sunday’s final with Aodh Ruadh, but Breen isn’t convinced that will count for much when the sides take to the field in MacCumhaill Park.
“We have been on a good run of form. I think we have only lost once in our last 12 games or something like that.
“We struggled at the start of the year when we were missing a lot of our players, and with eight league games to go we only had five points and were looking at relegation.
“However, we picked up form after that and ended up with 17 points in the league, and we still have to play Naomh Muire yet.
“The only game we lost was against Four Masters and that was literally with the last touch of the match.
“We have gone through the championship unbeaten too, although there were a couple of wins we let slip in that too and ended up with draws.
“We have been in fairly good form, but that probably won’t count for a lot this week.”
Breen and his team were dejected after losing to St Naul’s on a scoreline of 0-7 to 0-6 in last year’s quarter-final.
It was the same scoreline when the sides met in the 2018 semi-final last week, but this time, it was Glenfin who came out on top.
“We were devastated to lose last year especially as we had just dropped down from Senior.
“We had our chances that day but we didn’t take them.
“It was a very similar game on Sunday but we were much happier after it.
“Paddy O’Connor came off the bench to kick a free into a tricky wind and we were thrilled to make it through.”
Glenfin have shown a lot of defensive strength in recent months, but finding scores has been a challenge.
In contrast, Aodh Ruadh have been shooting the lights out, but have looked shaky at the back at times.
Breen said: “We have been fairly sound defensively. Frank (McGlynn) plays at centre half-back and controls the defence, and John Harkin and Gary Herron have been playing well.
“I saw Aodh Ruadh against Fanad in Convoy, and Fanad could have had three goals in the first 15 minutes and that could have made it a different game.
“Aodh Ruadh are very quick on the break and they will punish you. We have been good defensively and they have been very good in attack so something will have to give.
“They have hit 110 points in the championship and we have only scored 55.
“We need to keep things tight in the backline, and try and get enough scores to win us the match.”
The winner of Sunday’s match will play senior football in 2019 and that is a big incentive.
However, Breen was keen to stress that Glenfin don’t win many championships, and he doesn’t want his team to allow this opportunity to slip by.
“We’d love to get back to Senior football. I suppose we were disappointed when we were relegated, but we struggled for a few years before that.
“We need to try and get back up to Division 1 to be truly competitive in the Senior, but we love when big clubs come to Glenfin.
“In saying that, it would be a great achievement if we could win the Intermediate.
“People say that Glenfin have a lot of championship tradition, but we only have one Junior and two Intermediate.
“Francie Ward was manager in ’78 when we won Junior, and in ’83 when we won the Intermediate.
“He sadly died earlier this year but it would be a great tribute to him if we could win on Sunday.”