St Brigid’s slight favourites in Offaly Intermediate Final against Ballyfore

WHEN they lost the Intermediate Final last year to Rhode and with it the chance to make an immediate return to the senior ranks, St Brigid’s looked a shattered side on the field in O’Connor Park on Saturday.

WHEN they lost the Intermediate Final last year to Rhode and with it the chance to make an immediate return to the senior ranks, St Brigid’s looked a shattered side on the field in O’Connor Park on Saturday.

It is never easy to pick a side up after such a heart breaking defeat but that is exactly what the Croghan side have done and they again stand one game away from a place at the top table.

They put the demons of last year behind them in their first game this year when they beat Rhode and while they lost their final group game against Shannonbridge, they emerged in second place in the group and were by the top scorers over their five games.

They had to overcome a close run quarter-final against Shamrocks before dispatching Bracknagh in the last four to book their place in the final. They have vast experience in the team with a sprinkling of inter-county players that could hold the key this Sunday.

In their way stand a Ballyfore side who are the surprise package of the campaign. They made headlines in recent years for the number of players they transferred in from Edenderry but getting player is one thing, moulding them into a team is quite another. That however appears to be a task that they have successfully completed this year.

They set the tone with a first round win over Shamrocks with their only defeat coming against Cappincur in their final group game. They beat Rhode comprehensively in the quarter-final before seeing off Raheen in the semi-final to reach the decider.

It would be an incredible achievement for Ballyfore if they were able to win this Saturday’s final against St Brigid’s and join their parish rivals Edenderry in the senior ranks. St Brigid’s have the greater experience and will be hoping to eradicate the memory of last year’s final defeat and that is the key factor that should give them the edge.