On Saturday next David McGivney will lead his Cnoc Mhuire, Granard team-mates out in Croke Park when they take on Holy Trinity College, Cookstown (Tyrone) in the All-Ireland Vocational Schools Senior ‘A’ Football Championship Final.
For the Mullinalaghta lad and the majority of the panel they have been on this journey together since their first year at school in Cnoc Mhuire and that’s what makes it so special: “School football is the nearest thing to club football. Most of us have been together since first year and were in nearly every other class along the way. It’s great to get to Croke Park and for some of us we might never get there again. There is great excitement about the game,” he told the Leader.
Although the Granard school have never looked further than their next game, McGivney admitted that the aim at the start of the year was to get to the All-Ireland Final and play in GAA Headquarters: “At the start of the year we had a meeting and we threw out the aims and this was the number one objective. As the season progressed we took it one game at a time and we are just so delighted now to be in the final.”
Cnoc Mhuire have reached the All-Ireland title decider on the back of a tough Leinster campaign and McGivney felt that those games helped them overcome Clonakilty Community College (Cork) in the recent semi-final: “It was a definite help after the previous tight games. We are used to the one-point wins at this stage and hopefully that will stand to us in our bid to win the All-Ireland title. In all the matches we just never gave up.”
McGivney and the other members of the Cnoc Mhuire squad developed something of a winning mentality when playing junior football for the school. The big thing for them was bringing that form through to senior: “We have won nearly everything but senior football though has been a different story over the past couple of years. We just couldn’t win the Leinster title, that was the main problem, but once we achieved that elusive provincial senior ‘A’ triumph the winning of the All-Ireland became the aim and hopefully we can succeed in crossing the final hurdle,” he said.
Just like the semi-final against Clonakilty, Cnoc Mhuire will be underdogs for the final against Holy Trinity College, a tag they don’t mind. Their captain David McGivney isn’t too worried about the opposition; it’s all about concentrating on their own game: “We are not even thinking about the opposition; it’s all about our performance on the day and hopefully we can bring our very best game to Croke Park.”