A disappointing championship campaign last year is what inspired Ardagh to claim this year’s Intermediate title, according to Paddy Ganley who dedicated the success to the late, great St. Patrick’s clubman Sonny Trautt when the current captain spoke after collecting the Hennessy Cup.
Speaking to the Leader after their win over Carrickedmond in the final replay on Saturday evening last, Ganley said: “We had a point to prove after last year. We were terrible in the group stages. Thank God everyone came back and we got there in the end. We have a very small panel but there is the love of the club there. It’s great for the club and great for the parish.”
For Ganley Saturday’s win was special because after five failed attempts he finally got to taste success in a final. From the start of the year the aim was to win the championship and everyone bought into it. “We all believed in each other. It was my 6th final today and I thought I’d never win one. Thank God I finally got there.”
The key forward paid tribute to his manager Liam Keenan, a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. “He is Ardagh to the backbone,” said Ganley. “Last year we let ourselves down and he was the first to tell us that. He believes in us so much. He thinks we can compete at Senior level, never mind Intermediate. He was the same playing football, he always demanded the best out of himself and he’s the same as a manager.”
After being relegated from the Senior Championship two years ago Ganley is pleased to be back competing at the top again but he knows what’s required if they are to stay there. “It’s brilliant to be back but we can’t rest on our laurels. We have to put in an effort like we did this year or we will be straight back down, it’s as simple as that. Clubs are so strong up there but that’s where we want to be. It’s only going to help the younger players by playing senior football.”