BY TONY TIGHE TIR CHONAILL GAELS captain Stephen Boyle says they are “fit and raring to go” ahead of Sunday’s quarterfinal tie with Kilmurry Ibrickane.
The television cameras may be in attendance at Ruislip on Sunday but there could be a Ferris wheel and trapeze act for all Boyle and his teammates care, such is the focus on defeating the Munster champions.
“All we want to do is win this match, be there cameras or no cameras,” stated the Derry defender. “We had a training programme to keep us ticking over during the Christmas period, but we’re glad to be back together as a team now. As it’s our third quarter-final in a row we know what’s required in terms of preparation.
“In Corofin and Crossmaglen we’ve played two very good teams over the past two years. We always look at those kinds of teams to see what they done to win a match and then try and bring it into our own game.” It’s unlikely TCG will be doing the same in their clash with the team from the Banner, not because they don’t rate them but because you can draw major comparisons between both teams’ style of play.
“When I saw how tight they kept it against Kerins O’Rahillys I did see similarities between themselves and us,” he admitted. “We both like to keep it tight at the back and break forward and pick off points.
“We have loads of respect for Kilmurry Ibrickane though; we know they’re going to be tough. They scored an injury-time winner against O’Rahillys and that shows how good their fitness is.
“O’Rahillys would have been the favourites going into that match, so for Kilmurry to hold them to a low score while picking off some themselves shows how good they are. They’re strong in defence and while they didn’t get many chances against O’Rahillys, they took most of them.”
Chances are also likely to be at a premium on Sunday, with an energy-sapping pitch sure to play its part. But Boyle believes that the London side have what it takes to clinch a historic win.
“I’d say the pitch will cut up very easily so fitness is going to be massive. And given the styles of play of both teams, if either doesn’t have the legs they’re going to get found out.
“We’ve come close in recent years but they’ve ultimately been defeats. We’re hoping to change that this time".
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