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McGeary knows Pomeroy are facing uphill battle

By John Campbell

Published 24/11/2016

Lead role: Hugh Pat McGeary will skipper Pomeroy
Lead role: Hugh Pat McGeary will skipper Pomeroy

Pomeroy captain Hugh Pat McGeary can hardly wait to lead his side out against Donaghmoyne in Sunday's Ulster Club Intermediate Football Championship final at Pairc Esler, Newry.

But while the durable centre-half-back prepares for the biggest day in his sporting career to date, he is conscious that his side must overcome not one but two considerable obstacles if they are to mark their centenary season by capturing provincial glory.

"Let's be honest, in our semi-final against Castledawson absolutely nothing went right for us in the first half," admitted McGeary. "We lost our two midfield men Ryan Loughran and Brendan Cunningham, we had to amend the side and then when half-time came we took a wee bit of time to ourselves on a personal level to assess where we were.

"Thanks to the contribution of our substitutes and the spirit within the squad as a whole we were able to push on and get over the line."

Pomeroy may have derived satisfaction from coming good in the end of that game but the enormity of the challenge they face on Sunday is illustrated by the fact that Donaghmoyne will be hoping to land what they hope will be the first leg of what would be a notable double within the space of a week.

On Sunday week, their ladies team will take on Dublin side Foxrock-Cabinteely in the All-Ireland Club Senior final and the drums are now beating in Monaghan in anticipation of a dual success - a fact that is certainly not lost on McGeary and his colleagues.

"Donaghmoyne is a very strong club in every sense and the team we will be meeting will have good players in all areas of the pitch," stated McGeary.

"Every day so far in the build-up to this match I have been hearing more and more about Donaghmoyne and it certainly helps to keep me very much on my toes. I know this applies to the other guys as well.

"Like a lot of the Pomeroy boys, I have not played at Pairc Esler before so this will be a new experience but we will have to adapt quickly to our surroundings if we are to have any hope of winning.

"We certainly cannot afford a repetition of the below-par first half we offered in that semi-final against Castledawson. That could prove disastrous."

Brendan Burns, Gavin Goodfellow, Frank Burns and Kieran McGeary are other pivotal figures in a Pomeroy side that has matured steadily over the last few years.

Skipper McGeary's assessment of the role played by substitutes against Castledawson may yet be replicated during Sunday's showpiece.

"Our bench will once again have a big part to play in the game, I believe," observed McGeary.

Belfast Telegraph

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