Club championships are in full swing all over the country these days and what a competition it is.
I said it here last year that the county scene is great and we see some quality games, but there is nothing like the club championship.
Club championships, whether it be hurling or football, captivates the whole nation.
We could be taking about All-Ireland champions Corofin or a Junior B Championship somewhere in the midlands, but to those people that is their everything, and that’s what makes it so special. Communities are brought together as they travel the land in search of glory.
I love this time of year as you get to see games from different parts of the country and with RTE now also showing club games, we will get to see more than ever this year.
Big teams fall, teams that no one gave a chance to upset the odds, the club championship has it all.
Thankfully this week we are now preparing for another county final having won our semi-final last week against a highly-fancied Kilcar team.
Going into the game we were written off and Kilcar were being spoken about not only as favorites for Donegal but one of the favorites for the Ulster Club, so it was massive for our boys to turn in a performance on the day.
Our young lads kept the heads down all week, focused on themselves and didn’t listen to any of the nonsense from the outside. They simply played like they can and that was enough to get the victory.
We now face Glenties in what will be a repeat of last year’s final. Going into this game the so-called experts will probably put us as favorites, but having been on the other side of those predictions last week I wouldn’t read too much into that.
Glenties are in their third final in a row and have contested seven out of the last 10 finals, so I think it’s fair to say that this is a 50-50 game.
Both teams will be glad of the twoweek break now to the final as it gives lads a chance to recover and freshen up after playing six weeks on the bounce. There are a lot of tired bodies this week so now it’s about getting the body ready to go again.
Elsewhere, Watty Graham’s took a massive step at senior level at the weekend when they put powerhouse Slaughtneil to the sword.
We are all aware of the underage success they have had so is this the year they finally arrive on the senior scene? In Antrim they just love replays with Lamh Dearg and Cargin having to settle for a draw last weekend.
I’ve been watching the Antrim Championship online this year and if it’s drama you want then there’s no need to look anywhere else – extratime, free-kick shoot-outs, you name it they have had it this year.
In Monaghan Scotstown are being made fight all the way to hold on to their crown this year. Ballybay, who have pushed them so close in recent seasons, took them to a reply again last weekend so that one should be interesting.
In Armagh, Cross just keep being Cross, destroying all before them as they marched onto yet another final.
If you look all over Ulster this year, the club championships have been amazing to date and the more exposure these games get the better.
We have a lot of finals on this week with the Cavan decider and a replay of the Antrim final, so I’m looking forward to putting the feet up this weekend and watching even more drama unfold.
What is it they say? “Ask not what your club can do for you….”