After achieving their target of winning the Intermediate title in making a rapid return to the senior grade, Granard are now in bonus territory in the build up to a most difficult Leinster Club first round clash away to the Dublin champions Cuala with O’Toole Park the venue on Sunday next, 2.30pm.
Needless to say, St. Mary’s will be hoping to cause an upset but are facing a tough task against the Dalkey based club who will feature Dublin senior defender Michael Fitzsimons, who will be expected to make a big impact, along with two other All-Ireland medals winners in Mark Schuttte (U-21) and Conor Mullally (Minor) who savoured success at the highest level for the capital county this year.
Cuala can call on the services of no less than nine dual players who were part of their senior hurling squad who lost the recent Dublin final against Kilmacud Crokes and they contested their third county Intermediate football final in a row on Saturday last – eventually emerging victorious 1-15 to 1-11 against Fingallians who had Dublin All-Star Paul Flynn in their side.
Granard manager Gerry Cadden from Mullahoran deserves a lot of credit for revitalising the fortunes of the north Longford club this season but beating the Dublin Intermediate champions is definitely a tall order.
Having said that, St. Mary’s are backboned by a number of very experienced players in Brian Sheridan, Bernard Clyne, Stephen Lynch, Fergus Kelly, Liam O’Rourke, Alan Neilon, David Blessington, Glen Kelly and the Hynes brother David and James and will give it their best shot against Cuala in a determined bid to earn a home tie against the Wicklow winners in the quarter-final.