A broken thumb did not impair C J McGourty’s contribution to St Gall’s Ulster Intermediate club hurling championship final victory over Armagh champions Middletown on Sunday.
And now the talented 21-year-old trainee teacher is hoping to unveil his scoring touch once again against Pearse Og in the Ulster club football championship quarter-final at Casement Park on Sunday.
McGourty landed 1-5 against Middletown and although he was overshadowed by his footballing colleague Sean McAreavey who landed a whopping 4-4 for the hurlers, he is nevertheless delighted to be facing the newly-crowned Armagh champions this week-end.
St Gall’s chairman Paul Flanagan encapsulates the view within the club when he says: “It’s certainly most encouraging to know that we have the Ulster hurling title in the bag but now we want the big one, the Ulster club senior football title. It’s three years since it came to us and we feel we are ready for it again.”
McGourty sustained his thumb injury prior to the hurling semi-final win over Tyrone champions Eoghan Ruadh a few days before last Sunday’s decider but played through the pain barrier to help his team to glory. He’s prepared to do the same again this weekend when his free-taking skills in particular could prove crucial.
Pearse Og manager Brendan Hughes acknowledges that his side will require to reveal a marked step-up on the form they showed in their Armagh county final win over Harps if they are to book a provincial semi-final place against either Monaghan champions Clontibret or Tyrone representatives Dromore.
“While we were very pleased of course to win the county title for the first time in seventeen years, it’s a big step forward to be going onto the Ulster club stage,” he said.