“We’re no shrinking violets” - St Finian’s set to meet big championship challenge head on

By Hayden Moore

IT COULD be a big season for St Finian’s after they teed up a huge clash with Naomh Fionnbarra in the Intermediate Championship quarter-final, a team who play two league tiers higher than the Newcastle outfit and manager Con McCarthy is not shying away from the challenge.

Finian’s convincingly beat Good Counsel Liffey Gaels 3-21 to 1-6 in the last round of Group One to secure their play in the last-eight while they will also contest a Division Four league play-off this Saturday.

Good Council v Finnians 02

Conor McCarthy of St Finian’s wins possession against Good Counsel’s Dylan Kearns in the Intermediate Football Championship at Galtymore Road last Saturday.

The following week will be a very telling one for the Newcastle outfit with McCarthy rearing to go ahead of their quarter-final encounter against Fionnbarra’s.

“They are a very good side and we would be expecting a tough match, to be up by the pin of our collar,” he said.

“We are expecting to be in a battle of course and we are expecting to win, we’re no shrinking violets.

“They play Division Two football in the league. It mightn’t necessarily be up the top end of the table, I think they play down around the bottom there, but they still play two tiers higher than us in Division Four. It will be no easy task.”

The chance to extend their championship campaign into knockout rounds was a possibility for both Good Counsel Liffey Gaels and Finian’s heading into their final group clash.

But the Drimnagh men could not withstand the firepower that the Aylmer Road side possessed as they ran out comfortable victors.

A half-forward line consisting of Sean McCarthy, Lar Harney and Sean O’Neill proved a real thorn in the side of Liffey Gaels as they chalked up 1-13 between them.

The McCarthy brothers, Sean and Conor, formed a dynamic partnership in midfield and half-forward.

While Conor Spillane bagged the other goal on his way to tallying 1-3, Cormac McCarthy kicked a fine effort to the net in the second half as they won out to finish second in the group, behind Naomh Barrog only on points difference.

But before they get to grips with their higher-ranked opposition next weekend, the Newcastle side will host a promotion play-off against Cuala this Saturday.

Finian’s previously played Cuala back in August during their Division Four campaign and beat them 2-12 to 1-13 and McCarthy is expecting to carry their recent form through the decider.

“Why would we be expecting anything less than a win? We beat them back in the league and the lads seem to be hitting a run of good form at the minute,” he explained.

“But it is important also that we don’t get overconfident because the league and the championship are totally different competitions. Teams perform differently so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

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