Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport GAA

Glenswilly manager Gary McDaid is given more reason to celebrate

It was a busy week in the McDaid household, you could say. Glenswilly manager Gary McDaid took in the celebrations of his friends, neighbours and clubmates of tiny Glenswilly on a miserable evening in Healy Park, before revealing how his expectant wife was taken into hospital a week early.

On Friday, they became parents to a little boy, Jack, and the next fortnight is set to whizz by as the whole of Glenswilly gets ready for the showpiece day of the Ulster club championship. "It's been a hectic weekend and thankfully mother and son are doing well," said the coach, adding: "She will get out now this week and it will be a busy house!"

Days like these recall previous ventures in Ulster at the lower grades, and the bottom of Glenswilly's upward curve. Such as the smash and grab defeat they suffered to Monaghan's Inniskeen in 2005.

"A lot of heartache that day," recalled McDaid. "We were two points up going into injury time and we conceded a goal to lose and Inniskeen went on to win the All-Ireland. There's a lot of hurt from 2005. Half of the current starting team and probably half of the subs as well are still involved."

Given the small population they have to work from, it says something about the culture of self-improvement that Glenswilly have created and fostered that they are now up against Ballinderry Shamrocks in the final.

McDaid wasn't for turning the spotlight on the Derry club yet, instead savouring the moment.

"We will enjoy tonight and focus on that. On Tuesday or Wednesday we will get a chance to look at that, but this is massive. It's absolutely massive for a club of our size. At the same time we have to put things into perspective, we have won nothing today, there's no point in us getting to an Ulster final now without going the whole way so it's important that we do."

He added: "Up against a team like Ballinderry, it is a dream final for us."

Emerging from the losing dressing room, Roslea manager Peter McGinnity cut a dejected figure. He knew that it took his side too long to settle.

"We had difficulty in the first 20 minutes dealing with the way they played, despite the fact we knew the way they were going to play; it's one thing knowing it and another thing doing it," he began.

"But I must say I am proud of the players, the way they continued to play on."

This has been McGinnity's seventh year in charge of Roslea and in that time they have risen from the second tier to dominate the Fermanagh Championship. One of his strengths is his attention to detail, evidenced in his methodical assessment of their downfall.

"We dealt with Michael Murphy alright, I felt we dealt in the middle of the field alright with James Sherry and Kevin Cosgrove, I was very pleased with how they got on.

"It was little things like with the second goal – Conor Mulligan was coming out with the ball, got tackled, half-fouled and turned over and they were gone. We didn't defend well either. They were much more adaptable."

And with that he was gone, Glenswilly was gone, and winter was ushered in.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph