Ballinabrackey and Trim have arrived in Saturday’s IFC final with almost similar degrees of ease, the town side totalling 11-55 and conceding 2-37 in their four wins so far while the Offaly border side have amassed 12-72 and conceded 2-42 in a game more.
The difference is that in one match the ‘Bracks had to battle to draw with Duleek/ Bellewestown something that may stand to them in this clash, there’s nothing like at least one hard fought game to let a team know how good they really are.
The pressure is all on Trim as well, although manager Brendan Murphy, one of Meath’s best ever goalkeepers and also one of the most likeable man in the game, may not want to admit as much.
The double of an IFC and SHC is very much on the cards and the footballers will be under pressure to deliver the first part of the deal, so how they cope with that will have a huge bearing on the eventual outcome.
That they are likely to have to do so without influential captain James Toher, injured in their facile semi final win over Kilmainham, will only add to Murphy’s concerns.
Much has been made of the fact that Trim lost to Nobber in last years final and many believe they will be inspired by that reversal.
To which train of thought there is a simple one word answer.
They do have the tools though, and in Aaron Lynch a sharp shooter as good as any in the grade.
Lynch scored nine points in the semi final romp and has able assistants in Mark Molloy, Eoin O’Connor and Ciaran Joyce.
Ballinabrackey ‘keeper Dean Pluck and his fellow defenders will have their hands full coping with that quartet, but equally Trim will be tested up the other end as players with county level experience, Chris O’Connor and Damien Carroll along with Danny Quinn and Sean Kavanagh will ensure they have to be on their toes.
Murphy has gone on record as saying the Covid -19 shut down has helped trim, ensuring his sides dual players were not over burdened with games and that could see them enter the arena the fresher side.
If both teams allow it then this could be the most open game of the weekend as the two sides can score freely and have players with the ability to run up a big score.
Feedback from clubs who played them suggests Ballinabrackey is the best side out there at this level.
It might take them a second match but the belief is they will show that on Saturday to avoid a replay, a draw though is a decent bet.