1. Still no substitute for work rate, commitment and determination
Skill makes up the main component of all sporting endeavour. However it takes one only so far.
Heart, determination and commitment to the task at hand are the most vital ingredients for all success and these were in evidence again in Pairc Ui Rinn yesterday.
Glen Rovers demonstrated their resolve inside the first two minutes. Left half forward David ‘Paddy’ Cunningham drove Ronan Murphy over the sideline with a strong shoulder.
The marker had been put down. The Glen had been insipid in the final last year against the same opposition.
It was obvious from the opening exchanges that there would be no repeat of that yesterday and it was obvious that ‘righting’ that result was a strong motivation.
Captain Graham Calnan provided the leadership from the outset giving a tour de force from right half back. His first half point, tremendous fielding and direct runs inspired his colleagues and they grew in confidence as the game wore on.
2. Proper planning is key
Sun Tzu, the renowned ancient Chinese military general wrote that when you “know yourself and know your enemy” the battle will be won. All battles require planning.
The Glen management had their planning in place and the defensive match-ups were on the money.
Full back Stephen McDonnell moved to the right corner in a switch with Ben Murphy while normal right half back, David Dooling, moved back to the left corner to police the dangerous Robert O’Driscoll.
Graham Calnan went to right half back and Gavin Moylan to left half while Brian Moylan man marked Cian McCarthy wherever he roamed.
These pre-game defensive moves worked a treat, completely shutting down the Sars’ forwards. Up front the switch of Brian Phelan and David Cunningham also worked superbly.
Phelan worked hard to win a puck out transferring smartly to the forward running Busteed who parted to Cunningham for the game winning first goal.
3. Good disciplined tackling makes a difference
The big scores are always seen from the terraces. Much of the little blocks and flicks are missed. But the big tackles are seen and are often as important as big scores.
They raise the players and supporters respond from the stands. Crisp, disciplined tackling is always a barometer of how you are performing. Effecting good tackles builds morale.
Glen Rover’s tackling was of a very high standard. At the very end of the first half the impressive Dooling and Calnan made effective tackles on Sar’s dangermen Gavin O’Loughlin and Robert O’Driscoll which would have boosted the confidence of their colleagues while deflating Sars.
Stephen McDonnell made a crucial block and a later hook on Tadhg Óg Murphy denying the Sars substitute a shot at goal at a crucial stage.
After eight minutes of the second half yesterday I got the distinct impression that Sars were waiting to be beaten.They were down by three points and struggling to make an impression at midfield and up front.
Corner forward Robert O’Driscoll got bottled up 35 metres from his goal giving away a free while Tadhg Óg Murphy blasted a half chance wide. Glen goalkeeper Cathal Hickey then made a magnificent save from Cian McCarthy, which had he converted, would have made it a one point game.
The Glen had played with belief all through and in the the stand I could feel the massive wave of momentum and self belief swing firmly behind Glen Rovers while it drained away from Sarsfields. Minutes later we had the vital first goal and David Dooling struck a great second for the icing on the cake.
Game set and match to the Glen.
5. New Premier IHC champions look equipped for senior ranks
In the Premier Intermediate final Newcestown won in impressive fashion. If it was a boxing contest referee Cathal McAllister would have stopped the bout short of the finish.
Newcestown had a better look about them all over the field. They moved the ball with more purpose and pace than Valley Rovers and their defence was excellent.
Playing as a unit, they worked the ball skilfully out of defence and used smart support play and crisp effective passing to overawe their opponents, as they knocked points over with aplomb.
By comparison the Innishanon outfit struggled to get to grips with the required pace of the game. The inevitable question is how will the champions get on in senior ranks next year? Judging by yesterday’s performance no team will be looking forward to meeting them in the first round.
They have smart forwards who show an impressive awareness of those around them. There’s a nice balance to their team and they have a high level of skill.They should hold their own although the dual senior responsibilities, a wonderful feat for a small club, could have an impact.