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Costello is looking forward to north Clare ‘derby’

Ballyvaughan manager Pat Costello is looking forward to seeing his side test themselves against Ennistymon this Saturday.

For the second time this year, Ballyvaughan will compete in the Junior A football final.

Costello believes the fact they are competing against a North Clare club will add extra intrigue to this final.

“There is a way bigger build up to a derby. Everyone meets everyone. Even if you go to the shop you will likely meet someone who is interested in the game or who will be rooting one way or the other.

“There’s mighty banter and it leads to more hype which will hopefully mean more of a crowd. It’s brilliant. It’s what you want. It’s great that people are talking. It would be a downer if there was no talk about the game.”

Ballyvaughan lost the 2020 Junior A final, which was held in July of this year to Banner. Costello is delighted that his side get another crack at securing promotion to the intermediate grade.

“It is a dream come through to get back again. It was hard to pick ourselves up after the first final. There was nothing normal about last year so we are looking forward to getting another go at it because we feel we didn’t perform how we wanted to in that final.

“If you don’t turn up on the day you will get nothing. Last year was so awkward because we could get no momentum before the final. You need momentum going in to any final but with our semi final played way before the final, we just couldn’t get going at all. We had a lot of injuries too so that didn’t help but we are just focusing on this weekend’s game.”

After shipping four goals to Clooney/Quin outfit in the semi final, the Ballyvaughan manager is aware his side need to produce a strong defensive display to have any chance of picking up a precious win.

“You never know what can happen on any day. We are normally very good and focused in defence. We did concede four goals in the semi final so that’s something that we have been working very hard on. We need to tighten up against Ennistymon because they will punish you if you give them space. Banner broke through us too easily in the final so we can’t let that happen again.”

Costello knows his side must overcome an Ennistymon side backboned by players who won the Minor A Championship in 2019 and also featuring others who reached the 2017 and 2018 finals at the minor grade.

“They have been favourites since the start. They have a lot of players who have won underage titles. They can bring on subs who have won titles so they are very strong. If you look at their first 25 players, there is very little between them. They have massive experience of winning so we have to be at our one hundred per cent best and bring our A game.

The Ballyvaughan manager knows how important this game is to the club as they try to regain intermediate status. They last won this competition in 2003 with Cian Walsh still involved from that side.

“It would be great to get some silverware for the club. We were up in senior a while ago, then fell to Intermediate and ended up in Junior. We have some lads in the intermediate final from ’07 who are still here so we want to see this group win something.”

by Ivan Smyth

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