FUNNY how things can work out. At the start of the year Tummery were one of the raging favourites to make a charge for the Mercer Cup. On paper the team read like a who’s who of the top players in the local game.
Football isn’t played on paper though, and weather and GAA went a long way to scuppering the best laid plans of Benny McElholm. Necessity became the mother of invention and while Athletic didn’t particularly set the league alight, they compensated for that by muscling their way to the Mulhern Cup final in impressive fashion.
Foremost in that charge has been Cathal Beacom, the granite-hewn centre forward netting four of Tummery’s seven goals in their cup run. He believes the cup is Tummery’s natural habitat.
“At the start of the year we were thinking we have a good chance in the league, but when the Gaelic starts, as everyone knows, Tummery lose a lot of quality footballers,” said Beacom.
“We have a few of those boys back. We had Ruairí Sludden and wee Ronan McNabb back for the semi-final so it gave us a wee lift. We’re hoping there’ll be another couple back for the final. Tummery are renowned as a cup team over the years and I suppose that is one of the reasons.”
The Crawford’s Lane side overcame Lisbellaw in the semi-final, but it took a Beacom brace for them to get past a dogged United outfit.
“I’ve played Fermanagh and Western long enough now to know there are no easy games especially against Lisbellaw,” said Beacom.
“Obviously Kyle [McCleery] is a massive driving force for them and he was a big miss in the middle of the field, but we knew we had our work cut out.
“It was 2-0 so right up to the death so we knew we could take nothing for granted. We had to just go out, get the job done and be professional about it. We could have been more clinical, but hopefully we’ll keep that for the final.”
Enniskillen Town United are the side standing in their way in this Friday’s decider as they bid for a fourth Mulhern title. The fact there’s a few Town alumni in the Tummery ranks has added real spice to this decider. Beacom has been keeping a close eye on Town this season and is expecting no quarter asked or given.
“We’ve played them twice in the league and I’ve been down watching them a few times as well. The times they played us was probably their two best performances. There’s a few ex-Town lads with Tummery so I think they’ve raised their game against us. It’s going to be no different on Friday night, they’re going to be well up for it.
“They’re like ourselves in the league they haven’t been going great, but when they have their first 11 out they are a formidable force and we’ll not be taking anything for granted.”
FULL STORY AND FULL PREVIEW IN TODAY’S ULSTER HERALD. CHECK OUT ULSTER HERALD WEBSITE FOR CUP FINAL PODCAST
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