Glenullin’s experience vital against Tyrone champions, Galbally

Ulster Intermediate Championship Quarter FinalGlenullin v Galbally (Tyrone)Celtic Park, Sunday, 1.15pm

The Glenullin panel that defeated Drumsurn in the Derry IFC final in Celtic Park.  Photo: George Sweeney.  DER2243GS – 023
The Glenullin panel that defeated Drumsurn in the Derry IFC final in Celtic Park. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2243GS – 023

Galbally Pearses caused a huge shock by beating an Edendork side including Tyrone All Stars Conn Kilpatrick, Darren McCurry and Niall Morgan in the Tyrone Intermediate Championship final.

Galbally, a little rural village between Dungannon and Carrickmore, proved no respecter of reputations and were worthy winners. Formed in 1949 Galbally have won the county intermediate title just once (2019) prior to this year but they were Intermediate League winners in 1991, 2015 and 2019. In 2006 their only senior success was achieved with the league but they have produced two well known GAA people of recent years in top defensive coach, Paddy Tally, now with Kerry, and Sean Hurson, rated as the best referees in Gaelic football.

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Tyrone clubs have a great record in the Ulster intermediate and All Ireland championships and that alone will make Glenullin sit up and take notice. No doubt Galbally will be measuring Glenullin’s ability with that of Steelstown who were All Ireland champions last season.

Glenullin manager Paddy Bradley. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2243GS – 028

Glenullin can boast of three county senior titles and two intermediates since they first saw the light of day 96 years ago and have produced All Stars in Dermot McNicholl and current manager, Paddy Bradley.

While the Derry championships start with a ‘round robin’, it’s straight knockout in Tyrone. Including their group games, Glenullin come to Celtic Park with six straight victories and the final against Drumsurn (won by 0-15 to 1-11) was easily the best adult game played in the county this year as Paddy Bradley’s men showed a mixture of skill and resilience.

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Captained by 42 year old former Derry player, Brian Mullan, the Mitchel’s played a very direct game with Eoin Bradley the target at full forward and Neil McNicholl having a great season at midfield. Having survived three cruciate knee ligament injuries, McNicholl is in the form of his life and scoring freely from both frees and play. In this area he, along with the tall Tralagh Bradley, can get a foothold against Ronan Nugent and Barry Carberry.

The player that Glenullin must close down is right half forward, Conor Donaghy. The deadly accurate wing man hit 1-08 of his team’s total in the county final. Fellow half forwards Sean Murphy and Daniel Kerr also found the target but their other goal came from an unusual source in corner back Liam Rafferty.

Glenullin will strive to get quick ball into Eoin ‘Skinner’ Bradley and the promising Fearghal Close who accounted for seven points between them in the victory over Drumsurn. With players like Eoin Bradley, Eunan O’Kane, John O’Kane, Gerard O’Kane, Brian Mullan, Dermot O’Kane still going strong 15 years after they won senior championship medals this could be their last chance of pushing for provincial hours. Urged on by their big home support there is no good reason why Glenullin cannot claim a semi final spot.

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Glenullin: (from) Niall O’Kane, Eunan Boylan, Eunan O’Kane, Daniel O’Kane, Mark O’Kane, John O’Kane, Ronan Close, Traglach Bradley, Neil McNicholl, Donal O’Kane, Conor Rafferty, Cathal Hasson, , Fearghal Close, Eoin Bradley, Brian Mullan. Galbally. Ronan McGarrity, Liam Rafferty, Conor Quinn, Conor Donnelly, Mark Lennon, Christopher Morris. John Hetherington, Ronan Nugent, Barry Carberry, Enda McGarrity, Cormac Donnelly, Sean Wylie, Conor Donaghy, Sean Murphy, Daniel Kerr.