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Maskey keen to let good times roll as St Enda's set sights on provincial title

 

By John Campbell

When Joe Maskey shared in St Enda's Antrim Intermediate Football Championship triumph a few weeks ago, he thought then that the Glengormley outfit had entered a sporting paradise.

But since then St Enda's have plotted a decisive course into tomorrow's Ulster Club final, and Maskey admits that the team's progress has exceeded the players' wildest expectations.

Yet, having got this far, Maskey reveals that tomorrow's final against Cavan champions Mullahoran will be another major test for a team that has been making a habit of claiming significant scalps of late.

"When we won the Antrim title, we thought maybe that was as good as it was going to get for us, but since then we have beaten the Monaghan champions Doohamlet and Tattyreagh, the Tyrone champions, and those wins have given us added confidence," pointed out Maskey.

A broken foot sustained while helping the Antrim hurlers in the early part of the summer threatened to put Maskey's career on hold but he was back to full fitness within three months to play a leading role in St Enda's county title triumph.

"We have had to wait a good while for success and I did not want to miss out on it," stated Maskey. "Now we're going in against a Mullahoran side that showed their staying power in beating Banagher after two periods of extra-time and a free-kick shoot-out. That was the ultimate test of any side, in my book."

His belief that St Enda's have discovered new-found character and courage will certainly be tested to the full against Mullahoran.

"The fact of the matter is that this is a final and both teams will be up for it. I think both sides have shown their qualities so far and it will be a big test of nerve as much as anything else," pointed out Maskey.

Should St Enda's come out on top tomorrow, it will mean that Maskey will be on All-Ireland Club duty at the start of the year, and this could delay his involvement with the Antrim hurling team, which is still managerless.

But Maskey is prepared to take things in his stride.

"We will see how things go and then take things from there," he added.

Peter Healy, Odhran Eastwood, Ruairi Scott, Kristian Healy and Eoin Nagle are other key figures in a St Enda's side which has had to show a considerable deal of patience in their bid to land silverware.

Manager Frank Fitzsimons, the former Antrim boss, believes his team's commitment, desire and pride can help them go a long way tomorrow night.

"These boys want to be winners, they are very strongly focused and I know they will give it everything," said a determined Fitzsimons.

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