URHAN head into Sunday’s eagerly-anticipated Beara JAFC decider hoping to deny Garnish a fourth consecutive title.
The most important game of the year for two clubs steeped in Beara GAA history is expected to attract a large attendance to Adrigole this weekend.
Garnish have held the Indian sign over their great rivals in recent times but Urhan are a team in form as evidenced by their recent Carbery/Beara Division 2 League final victory over Muintir Bhaire.
‘The bottom line is that this is our main event of the year,’ Urhan’s Johnny Neill said.
‘Ourselves and Garnish have contested the final for the last couple of years and it is a huge game for both clubs. We have been gearing up for what is the highlight of the year for both players and supporters.’
The importance of Sunday’s occasion is underlined by Garnish’s Tadgh O’Sullivan’s reference to the trophy both sides will be battling it out for.
‘We have two championship games coming up but this is the most important one and the most important game of the year for Garnish football,’ O’Sullivan said.
‘It is that bit more special for Garnish as it is for the Cormac O’Sullivan Cup and Cormac played for Garnish many many moons ago. Everybody knows we are struggling for numbers and struggling to get a team out on Sunday in fact.
‘We have fellas aged from 18 to 50 just to keep the show on the road. It is an achievement for us to play championship football at all but we are still hanging in there. The spirit is good even if the numbers are slack.’
In contrast to Garnish’s struggles, Urhan enter the weekend on the the crest of a wave having lifted Division 2 silverware.
‘We won the Carbery/Beara Division 2 Junior League final against Muintir Bhaire which was a huge boost for us,’ Johnny Neill said.
‘We have several players out injured and a few doubtful for this weekend’s final but playing in this league has been absolutely crucial for us.
‘In past years we have used the league to try out different things and probably finished mid-table more often than not. This year, we said we would go for it and try to get up to Division 1 and succeeded in doing that.
‘It has been great build-up for the Beara final. Playing in two finals one week after the other is going to be great for everyone invovled. You could have several training sessions but nothing is better that contesting and winning a competitive league final than that ahead of facing Garnish.’
The defending champions have struggled to complete as many games as Urhan this year. There are mitigating factors and although Garnish will be hard pressed to win a fourth consecutive title, Urhan can be sure that the champions will not go down without a fight.
‘Since last year we have lost five players to injury,’ Garnish’s Tadgh O’Sullivan stated.
‘Some of our main players from last year’s win over Urhan are out. Losing five from a panel of 22 is a big deal and leaves us down to the bare bones. We will only have a handful of subs in Sunday.
‘We have only played a couple of games recently and just couldn’t get numbers together earlier in the year.
‘We have players anywhere from 30 miles west of the Bull Rock all the way to Dublin. That’s our reality. We have a few working locally and a few out fishing. Fishing fellas can’t plan their days, it is not 9-5, not being available at the weekends.’
- The final will be broadcast live on Bere Island Community Radio. The radio station will do an outside broadcast for the game and the game will be broadcast online, allowing Beara people all over the world to listen to live commentary, provided by Cork County Board PRO Joseph Blake. The link to the game will be found on the Bere Island Community Radio Facebook page.