Kildare SFC final: Galvin's Gladiators vs Burke's Boys as Newbridge turns Green

Kildare Senior Football final, the countdown continues

Tommy Callaghan

Reporter:

Tommy Callaghan

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tommy.callaghan@leinsterleader.ie

Kildare SFC final: Galvin's Gladiators vs Burke's Boys as Newbridge turns Green

Moorefield captain James Murray and Sarsfields captain Sean Campbell, all set for a big day on Sunday

The young guns who have recently been taking a day or two out of class to protest about climate change, or the lack of it, will certainly be happy if they arrive in Newbridge this week as the town has turned green from Buckley's Cross to the racecourse round-about; from the Newbridge Dog Track heading to the cemetery.
But before the uniformed young bucks begin to cite the town as the way forward it should be pointed out that what has occurred has nothing to do with the climate, change or otherwise.
It's senior football final championship time, and once again that means that the town is divided from north to south; from east to west in friendly rivalry, as champions Moorefield put their title on the line bidding to make it three on the trot, taking on rivals, Sarsfields, who are bidding to retain the one statistic they hold over their rivals, that being they (Sarsfields) did the three-in-a-row, albeit some 70 years ago now.
So as the big day arrives on the horizon we ask the question who will take the bragging rights?
Will Glavin's Gladiators make it three on the trot or will Burke's Boys put a damper on an historic achievement.
Amazingly enough this will be the last time that both Moorefield and Sarsfields and will be managed (for now) by their respective bosses in a county decider.
Ross Glavin, the most successful Kildare club manager in modern times, will leave his beloved Moorefield as he links up with Jack O'Connor and Tom Cribbin in a bid to bring success to The Lilywhites, while 2018 All Ireland winning U20 Kildare boss, Davy Bourke, departs, after just one season, as he takes his first tentative steps on the inter-county managerial ladder, throwing his lot in with the Garden County.
Moorefield are the favourites with the layers, a situation that no doubt suits the boys from the bottom of the town.
These sides met in the group stages when Burke's Boys beat Glavin's Gladiators by a single point; a win that the Sarsfields boss has almost dismissed as of no relevance, in his pre-final chat.
Of course these sides also met in the SFL and while The Moores won somewhat comfortably, again a game that can be taken with a grain of salt, as much has changed in the intervening period.
Drawn in the same championship group this year, The Sash came out on top, Moorefield in runners-up position but all that meant in reality is the former went straight to the last eight while the latter played a preliminary quarter final; an extra game, that possibly or probably, they needed.
The semi finals, just two weeks ago, played on a double header on one of the dirtiest days we have experienced of late, saw Sarsfields dismiss a somewhat fancied Celbridge side, an outfit that seems to have learned absolutely nothing from their exprience(s) over the past few seasons.
Moorefield got the better of another hotly fancied side, Athy, and while they played some of their best football of this season to date for 40 minutes or so, their supporters had to endure some squeaky bum time as the boys from the south cut an eleven point lead to two, before giving way to an obviously better side in green.
County final; local derby; a chance to make a bit of history; an opportunity to stop history being made; top of the town v bottom of the town; it's all there.
No doubt Moorefield have been worthy champions over the past two seasons and winning their second Leinster Club in 2017 made them the most successful club team in Kildare, bar none.
Are they timing their run to perfection?
Are they getting the engine purring right on the button?
Are they coming to the boil at the opportune time?
Selection for them will be vital. Missing from semi final line-up were Adam Tyrrell and Daryl Flynn, they will be back available, but will they start?
Ross Glavin and his management team have a habit of raising eyebrows with team selection at times, don't rule out another bit of a head scratcher.
Sarsfields have been building all season; out of the limelight for two years, they have successfully introduced many young guns to their panel of players; boys have become men. They are expected to be at full strength with three Defence Force personnel back in the fold following overseas duties.
Will Davy be tempted to give one, or two, a start, or at least list them on the match day panel; or will he stay loyal to those who have got them thus far.
Loyalty is not an ingredient in Davy's make-up; certainly not on this occasion at any rate.
Fascinating day to look forward to.
The match-ups will be vital.
Who will mark danger man Ben McCormack (Davy confirmed the sharp shooter is heading to Australia for 12 months soon) the returned Barry Coffey and Alan Smith?
Who will be handed the task of looking after Eanna O'Connor, Eddie Heavey and Adam Tyrrell?
Midfield will be vital, Matty Byrne was excellent curtailing Fergal Conway in the semi final, well assisted by Caoimhin McDonnell.
Will young gun Aaron Masterson command the high ball for The Moores?
Will James Murray be on his own half back or half forward line?
Will the goal machine Hurley Lynch keep up his incredible scoring record?
There is a lot of experience in that Moorefield side and their defence has been playing solidly throughout this campaign.
Like all Davy Bourke managed sides work-rate is probably their no. 1 ingredient; then again Moorefield are no slackers when it comes to that vital component.
The Moores know how to win, and that's for sure.
Sarsfields are hoping to win, yet no one will be surprised if they manage to take the Cup.
The incentives on both sides are massive.
But at the end of the day it is that experience that the champions have garnered over the past four seasons, remember while they are going for three-in-a-row this is their fourth final on the trot.
That can't be dismissed lightly.
This has the potential to go right down to the wire.
Let's hope it is not decided on a poor call or bad decision and that the best footballing side takes the honours.
Tight, tough with dollops of drama and intrigue.
Glavin's Gladiators get the nod over Burke's Boys.
But only just!