Limerick SFC Final - Ballylanders captain interview

Joel Slattery


Joel Slattery

Ballylanders captain Jimmy Barry Murphy with Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann and Ballylanders GAA chairman Eamonn O'Neill
FOR the footballers of Ballylanders, there are a busy few weeks ahead.

FOR the footballers of Ballylanders, there are a busy few weeks ahead.

This Sunday sees them play in the Irish Wire Products Limerick SFC final against St Patrick’s.

The weekend after, sister club Glenroe play in the IHC semi-final where they await the winner of the quarter-final between Monaleen and Newcastle West.

For Ballylanders captain Jimmy Barry Murphy, this is a good problem to have.

It is a good complaint that the two clubs are going well in October,” he said.

Murphy conceded that the footballers have got the rub of the green when it comes to fixtuers.

“The way the fixtures worked out, the fixtures benefited Bally, not Glenroe,” he admitted. Bally have played five times since the beginning of August while Glenroe have only played twice in that time.

There are further challenges to having both clubs going well as a number of players have to share their time between the two codes.

“(It’s) very tough we’re pulling off 10 players across both codes, 10 players who start for both codes,” the Bally captain said.

While there are dreams of a historic double, Murphy is keeping his feet on the ground and knows full well the dangers of St Patrick’s.

“We have great respect for them, they beat us fair and square and I think the scoreline flattered us that day,” he said of their 1-10 to 1-9 loss in Caherconlish in the last game of the round robin stage.

However, Ballylanders are showing the form that got them to the 2007 and 2008 finals and can take great self-belief in that they beat three-in-a-row Drom-Broadford twice over the course of the campaign.

“They are the kingpins of Limerick football,” he said.

“We took big confidence but in the group but you never knew what Drom will turn up because you know they will get out of the group anyway,” Murphy added.

That said, the skipper was a lot happier when they beat the same opponents under the Rathkeale lights in the semi-final.

“We upped our performance, we got the goal at the right time,” he said. “We were 0-3 to 0-1 up when we got the goal and that gave us confidence.”

“I believe it was the best Ballylanders played in a long time.”

St Patrick’s pose a very different challenge, however. The Rhebogue club’s attacking stlye of play is not one that has Ballylanders concerned though.

“We play attacking football too. Look it’s two evenly matched teams,” he said, although insisted that the city side were the favourites to clinch a first title in 60 years.

The favourites tag is not one that will have ant bearing on either side though.

“We’re confidant and they’re confidant,” Murphy said, adding that his side wanted to make amends for their last final appearence.

“2008 was our last final and we didn’t do ourselves justice and we were not back until now,” Murphy said adding that excitement levels are high in Ballylanders.

“You can’t go to the shop without being stopped and talking for half an hour to someone who wants to talk about the match,” he revealed, saying it was great that the town were behind the team.

Murphy is anxious however, that the south Limerick side are not being set up for a fall.

“Donegal beat the kingpins of Ireland, who were Dublin at the time, but no-one will remember that because they lost the All-Ireland title to Kerry. We beat the kingpins of Limerick so we are open to the same thing.”

Whatever the outcome, the celebrations won’t be too big in the south Limerick town.

“I heard that Glenroe are training Monday night win, lose or draw,” Murphy laughed.

A historic double would make the sacrifice worth it.