The 2009 County Senior Football Championship will get underway this coming Friday when Ardmore take on St Brendan’s in Fraher Field at 7.30pm
This is a mouth watering contest to get the competition underway, as both these teams will have aspirations of lifting the Conway Cup come the end of the year.
In recent years, Ardmore have come agonisingly close to regaining the ultimate honour that they last annexed in 1977. In 2007, they went all the way to the County Final before losing to a star-studded Ballinacourty outfit. Last year did not go quite to plan, however, and they exited the championship at the quarter-final stage having being beaten comprehensively by eventual champions, The Nire.
They will be missing county hurling goalkeeper Clinton Hennessy, who normally takes their frees, but Ardmore have an experienced line-up and can call on the services of several players with inter-county experience.
These include Austin Flavin and Niall Hennessy in the back line and the experienced Wayne Hennessy who is likely to start at midfield alongside Alan North. They have enough talent in the forward line to trouble any team in the county with the likes of James O’Donnell, Seamus Prendergast and county minor star Kenny Murphy likely to ask questions of the St Brendan’s defence.
Football followers in Waterford never know quite what to expect from St Brendan’s. This may be par for the course for a side that comprises an amalgamation of three intermediate clubs, Kill, Newtown and Bonmahon. Since their inception into the Senior Football Championship in 2006, they have failed to make a major mark.
However, they are a side that is laden down with talent and experience and sooner or later, they are going to take down one of the big guns. They are likely to start with Waterford senior goalkeeper Tomás Wall between the posts and will have a full back line marshalled by former under 21 star Ger Hayes. In the half-back line, they will be able to start with Ger Dunphy, Niall Hennessy and Patsy Casey.
In midfield, St Brendan’s will have two Waterford senior panellists in Mick Ahearne and Dermot Casey. But it is in the forward line where St Brendan’s may hold the aces. The experienced Ray Hennessy will be joined by his brother Mark in the half forward line. Other forwards Ardmore will have to keep an eye on are Tommy Power, the pacy Anthony Kiely and Bonmahon’s Richie Walsh.
This opening encounter in this year’s senior football championship promises to be a close encounter with no team having any apparent advantage.