GAA

'We Had 7 Sets Of Brothers, When Brothers Are Fighting Together, It's Hard To Beat Them'

'We Had 7 Sets Of Brothers, When Brothers Are Fighting Together, It's Hard To Beat Them'

Oughterard won the All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship on Saturday at Croke Park. The game against Monaghan's Magheracloone Mitchels was part of a triple header along with the junior final and Dublin vs Kerry in the opening round of the league.

The Galway champions won by ten points but for much of the 60-plus minutes, it was a tight affair. There were just three points between the teams with five minutes to play. Oughterard then powered, away scoring 1-4 and winning 2-16 to 0-12.

"I'm delighted with the performance," Oughterard manager Tommy Finnerty told Galway Bay FM.

"Coming up today, the one thing I said was that once we got a good performance, as a manager, there's a certain degree of satisfaction.

"They're a very honest bunch [with] heart, determination, composure. The big word we went with today to simplify it for the team was concentration. When you're in Croke Park, the concentration levels have to be so high. As Kevin Walsh often said to the Galway lads, 'You run five to save 50'. You can be running all day but if you're not concentrating, you're going to lose the game.

"I'm absolutely thrilled. I know Kevin O'Brien was happy winning the three-in-a-row [with Corofin] but I can't imagine he's as happy as I am.

"I was born and raised on The Square in Oughterard. To me, The Square in Oughterard is my home. We'd no front garden - The Square was our front garden. I grew up with Henry, Padraic and Conrad Keogh there. The Square, that was our playing field.

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"Oughterard really came out in force. For the last few weeks, it was absolutely unbelievable in the parish. Everyone contributed. We had nine full busloads today, and a waiting list. We have the cup but the parish is the real winner today."

Oughterard defeated Kerry's Templenoe in the semi-final. It was a game into which the Galway side went as underdogs in the eyes of many. Templenoe count four Kerry senior panellists - Killian and Adrian Spillane, Tadhg Morley and Gavin Crowley - among their group.

"Well, the best in the land is us," said Finnerty.

It was lazy journalism and by those that set compile the odds. What I noticed was that all the talk was about the Spillanes, they're only breaking into the Kerry team and they have a long way to go before they're like Pat, Tom or Mick [Spillane].

Following the final whistle, brothers Matthew and Enda Tierney headed straight for the Cusack Stand.

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"I'm sure they're going to up meet their dad," said Finnerty.

"I played an awful lot of football with Matthew [Tierney Senior]. He was a huge inspiration to me growing up - he was three or four years older than me. I used to look up to Matthew - I still look up to Matthew.

"He has a brilliant football brain and oftentimes I'd ring Matthew senior and bounce things off him. I'd rate his opinion that high. He's just a pure gentleman.

"I'm so thrilled for the Tierneys and for everyone on the team. We had seven sets of brothers out there today and when brothers are fighting together, it's hard to beat them."

Top photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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