GLENFIN WILL LOOK to finish their version of the ‘Great Escape’ this evening when they meet Burt in the Division 2/3 relegation-promotion play-off at The Scarvey (throw-in 5.30pm).
It’s just over a month ago since the scultors were readying a stencil for the tombstone but from somewhere, Liam Ward’s team (pictured above, courtesy of Chris Doherty) found a second wind.
With three games to go in Division 2, they were rooted to the bottom of the pile and had to win two games more than Gaeil Fhánada.
They did just that, claiming six points from those three games while Gaeil Fhánada picked up only a draw.
Their job isn’t complete yet, though, and they face a Burt side today in Buncrana that is looking for an escape job themselves.
In 2001, Burt played Division 1 football and competed in the Senior Championship, but they plunged to the depths of Division 4. Now, they’ve a chance of returning to the second tier.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” says Burt manager Damian Dowds.
“The prize is huge for us. We have been saying that there is something here for us to win – a place in Division 2. Half of the teams in Division 2 play in the senior championship so it’s a huge step up; a huge prize, were we to win.”
From they played Urris in July, Burt were cold for two months.
They felt the full wrath of the club structure then with four games in seven days for some of their players: two hurling championship games, a football league game and another fixture in the football championship.
“We’ve got a lot of knocks and niggles, but that’s only natural with the way the calendar has been for us,” Dowds says.
“The likes of Ronan McDermott and Joe Boyle would have had close on 50 competitive games scheduled for them this year.”
Enda McDermott is out with a cruciate injury, while Paddy McDermott and Rory Grant are others who are unavailable, as is Benny Harrigan who got married last weekend.
“We’re going into the game confident in ourselves and confident in how we’re set up,” Dowds says.
“There’d be no point in playing the game if we didn’t think we can win. That said, we know it’ll be a big task because Glenfin are a seasoned team in the senior championship and have had play-off experience over the last few years.”
Glenfin gave themselves the kiss of life in recent weeks but, as manager Liam Ward stresses, it’ll count for nothing unless they emerge from The Scarvey with a win.
“We had to win our remaining Division 2 games and we did that – but there’s little point in all of that unless we win this one,” Ward says.
“Three or four weeks ago our season looked over after a heavy defeat against Fanad. You wouldn’t have got much odds on us to stay up, but we stayed together and the boys put in a big effort.”
Gavin McDermott and Conor Ward have been placed on the injured list owing to cruciate injuries, Mark McGinty junior has emigrated while Michael McGlynn and Gerard Ward are struggling, although both have a chance of playing this evening.Tags: