Mungret St Pauls will be looking to go one better than 2020 when they face Cappamore in the Premier Intermediate Final this Sunday.
In their first ever PIHC final appearance last year, Mungret St Pauls pushed Kildimo Pallaskenry all the way before falling to the now County Cup champions.
Back at the same stage, this time against Cappamore, manager Liam Cronin says there will be nothing between the sides as he comes up against his home club.
“There’ll be nothing between the two teams, and I suppose that’s probably what makes it so exciting of a contest.
“Unfortunately it’s something that I’m used to (playing against home club)… the next two weeks is where my job is but by the time Sunday comes around I’ll have very little to do, the two teams on the pitch will decide where the cup goes.”
But while last year’s final was played in the height of summer, this decider will be played a couple of months later in the year. And with that comes its own obstacles with Cronin outlining how both teams will be affected should the ground underfoot become heavy.
“This time of year with conditions the way they are, you’re probably never gonna give a complete performance. We’ve done a bit of analysis and we’ll work on a couple of things over the course of the next few weeks.”
“That’s a worry playing this time of the year but I suppose thats probably the same for both teams, when you look at the Cappamore semi-final as well they probably play a very similar brand to ourselves in terms they try to hold possession an work the ball as well, it’s the same thing for both teams really.”
However, Mungret have bedded in a number of new players in this year’s championship with the likes of Barry Duff and Liam Lynch making a seamless transition to adult hurling.
Nonetheless, Cronin will be sweating on the fitness of a number of players with team captain Cian O’Brien an injury doubt with namesake Paul only returning from a lenghty lay-off in the semi-final win over Glenroe.
Cronin is hopeful that the extra couple of weeks break could make the difference for his side.
“We’ve had a good few injuries over the course of the year and we probably haven’t been playing with a full deck so far this year and maybe the extra week break ahead of the final is a help to us in that regard
“Our physio has been busy trying to get players right but I think anyone who comes through a championship like that, every team is going to have one or two knocks and worries to get over.”
Watch the interview in full with Cronin below!
Mungret St Pauls take on Cappamore in the 2021 Premier Intermediate Hurling Final on Sunday October 24 in the TUS Gaelic Grounds.