THE majority of Holy Trinity College’s U18, Double Markey Cup winning squad, knows first-hand the disappointment that comes after an All-Ireland semi-final defeat, writes Jason Quinn.
Twelve months later and they find themselves back in the same position, an hours football from a dream day in Croker and they know too well they can’t take their eye of the ball just yet and will hope to learn from last years’ experience and defeat Munster Vocational Schools champions, Clonakility of Cork, who are vying for a spot in the All-Ireland decider, for the third year in a row, picking up the honours in their first attempt.
Holy Trinity’s joint manager Peter Canavan believes his side will get nothing easy, especially with the experience of the Cork school .
“Clonakilty I suppose are used to been in this position, they are actually going for their third final in a row, winning it two years ago in Croke Park and lost last year’s decider to Ferbane College by a point, the team who defeated Holy Trinity in our semi-final.”
“Cork teams are traditionally strong and Clonakility will be no different and I’m sure they’ll have no fear of playing Holy Trinity on Saturday.”
Canavan went on to say. “We would be very keen to take it one step further this time, but it’s no guarantee just because we were beaten last year. If we are to win this year it will come through hard work and solid football. I’d like to think our boys have got better as the year has gone on and It’s a massive opportunity for them and hopefully one in which they will take.”
Holy Trinity have impressed throughout their successful Markey Cup campaign, but from their facile opening win against Rossa’s Community School from Donegal, they haven’t put in a solid hours football, failing at times to convert possession into scores, thus allowing Monaghan outfit Ballybay, in their semi-final and Tyrone rivals St. Ciaran’s in their final, to stay in contention right to the final whistle.
From that Markey final Canavan definitely sees room for improvement in his side and would like to see them play at a high intensity for sixty minutes.
“We were good in patches in the Markey final but we would be looking that more consistently, we were very dominant in spells but for ten minutes we fell asleep, letting St. Ciaran’s back into it and that’s something we have to look at. I would be hoping for the boys to play with much more intensity throughout the sixty minutes”
Once these lads cross that white line on Saturday afternoon in Newbridge, it will all be in their own hands, to win on merit, that opportunity of representing their School, County and Province in the ALL-Ireland Final decider in Croke Park. Mickey Mills, Michael Cassidy, Connor McAleer and Kieran McGeary will be to the fore for the Cookstown College and if they stick to their game plan and play to their full potential they could cease this golden opportunity and be looking forward to a final date in Croker.