Trappers Ashford v Valleymount Preview
We start our story from last year when we were flying in the league and got promotion however three epic league final matches against Shillelagh and Coolboy seemed to knock the steam out of us before the championship and we didn’t live up to our own expectations.
With renewed vigour we headed into this season and started out against Eire Og in Aughrim. After an up and down game it was a magnificent performance from Brian Coen and a superb solo goal by Cormac Doyle that got us over the line after a massive tussle by six points.
Onto our second game and we played the championship favourites Valleymount. We knew it would be a mammoth challenge however our lads rose to the challenge. It was probably our best performance of the year so far with David Dowling dictating play superbly from centre back.
In the quarter final we played our neighbours St.Patricks . Maybe abit of over confidence had set in and we were not at our best. After a tight first half Rob Clarkson showed his leadership qualities with 1-1 just after the interval and we managed to keep Pats at arms length with Gavin Weir showing superbly on the day for a four point win.
The semi final against Barndarrig we knew would be a close affair. We were under severe pressure for 40 minutes down by five but Dean Mooney came on and turned the game with Brendan Manning rolling back the years and kicking scores from everywhere. Ross Quinn provided a finish to a great team goal and with Lee Fitzpatrick making a crucial save near the end we edged it by a point.
On Saturday we know Valleymount will be a different beast to the team we played in the earlier rounds. It was their first game and watching them since they have definitely improved greatly.
We need the whole panel to stand up to the challenge. Dicko, Rian and Iarla have been solid in the knockout stages and Billy Clarkson is back there to provide serious competition for the place after his injury recovery. Joey and Panda in the middle are a match for any combination in this grade on their day.
I think the match will be decided around the breaking ball with Mikey Treanor and Robbie Keenan who has been superb all season playing a key role.
The panel have all played parts at crucial times with every player making positive impacts throughout . My head and heart says the black and amber to bring it home to the “cradle of the GAA”