Molaise Gaels hopeful of progression despite mammoth task
St Molaise Gaels' boss Willie Gormley has arguably the toughest task of all the managers heading into the upcoming Belfry Senior Championship quarter-finals.
His side face up to the challenge of dethroning the 2016 and 2017 winners Tourlestrane.
But having come through a competitive Group Two which included winners Coolera/Strandhill and Drumcliffe/Rosses Point, the Gaels manager now gets to pit his wits against what has been the best club side in Sligo over the past two years.
The Grange outfit began their championship campaign with a disappointing defeat to Coolera/Strandhill.
Gormley's side good work all undone in the final moments as they surrendered their lead to lose 2-10 to 1-15.
"We were disappointed not to win our opening championship game", Willie conceded.
"Four points up with ten minutes to go, we should have closed out the game out but we felt it was one that we should have won but congratulations to Coolera, they showed they wanted it."
Molaise however, galvanised and improved in their second game against Drumcliffe/Rosses Point at Kent Park.
They were maybe a little fortunate to meet an off-form Drumcliffe side but nevertheless powered through to a five point victory, setting themselves up for a huge game with Tourlestrane.
"The recent game against Drumcliffe/ Rosses Point will not be one that any family will be watching after the Christmas dinner", Willie continues.
"But there was so much at stake for both teams.
"A win and you're into the last eight and defeat and into the dreaded relegation final. It's so close."
Willie says there was an overwhelming sense of satisfaction following the win.
"After the result that evening in Kent Park, there was relief for the senior players in the squad as it was the club's first senior win in three years and hopefully we can progress to the next round."
"We are delighted to be in the quarter final stages of the senior championship with St Molaise Gaels, at this time of the year it is always a good sign if you are still training in early September."
Gormey also noted the strong community ethos that exists within Molaise Gaels. He said he was enthused to see so much of the club's youth out in force to watch the senior side throughout the championship.
"St Molaise Gaels GAA club are a family orientated GAA club to be involved with", he says.
"We are putting a lot of hard work and effort into coaching and implementing football camps, it was great to see some of these younger players supporting the team."
Previewing the Tourlestrane game, Gormley praised Eamonn O'Hara's team, noting their strength in depth.
However he knows that to be the best, you must beat the best and he's looking forward to going up against the reigning champions.
"They are one of the main clubs in Sligo the last number of years and their record tells the story.
"They have strong players all over the pitch and have two very astute managers in Eamon and Gerry McGowan.
" It will be a very difficult game for us but one that as a group we are all looking forward to and hopefully we will be able to match their intensity and be competitive to the final whistle."
"The senior championship group stages have been very competitive with only a kick of a ball between teams at the end of some of the games."
Concluding, Willie says: "The quarter finals are different ball game with every team knowing that it is all about progressing to the next round.
"And if your defeated, that will be the end of your year for 2018."