McInerney revelling in the challenges on Oranmore/Maree’s victory march

Oranmore/Maree joint hurling captains, county players Niall Burke and Gearóid McInerney. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.
Oranmore/Maree joint hurling captains, county players Niall Burke and Gearóid McInerney. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy.

GALWAY centre-half back Gearoid McInerney recognises Oranmore/Maree have a big challenge ahead of them against Charleville of Cork on Sunday. Yet, what Charleville might not know, is that challenges like these is what McInerney has built his reputation on.

Take his progress in a Galway jersey. It is not that long ago when he tormented kingpins Kilkenny from a wing-forward berth in a National League fixture at Nowlan Park yet, when the Tribesmen secured the Liam McCarthy Cup a year later, in 2017, McInerney had the No. 6 jersey on his back, having made it his own.

McInerney did so because he embraced the challenges set out in front of him, on and off the field, and it will be no different when the Oranmore/Maree joint captain takes his side to Croke Park this weekend.

So, when it is observed that Charleville are 4/7 favourites for Sunday’s All-Ireland intermediate club final, McInerney pays little heed. “To be honest, we don’t know too much about them.

“We are just trying to concentrate on ourselves, more than anything. We know anyone who gets to a final is going to be a good team and will be well able to go so we are just putting the head down and concentrating on ourselves.”

That said, the joint captain is not so foolish as to go blinkered into this game either. Aware of the strengths of Cork hurling, he remarks that the one thing Oranmore/Maree must do come Sunday is “adapt” to the pitch of the contest quickly.

“I think adaptability would be the big thing. We need to be able to adapt to our opponents. We probably haven’t played a team similar to this team yet, although we have faced teams in various different scenarios already and adapted pretty well throughout the year.

“Even going down to 14 men in the semi-final, we did adapt well, holding St. Gall’s scoreless (for 30 minutes in the second half). They didn’t score until injury-time of that game. So, I suppose, adaptability would be the big thing for us next Sunday.

“We know Charleville are a good, young team, they are well able to hurl and they are having a fantastic year. So, we will have to show up and make sure we exercise our own game plan,” says McInerney, who, as a Galway player, has proven to be the epitome of “adaptability”.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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