WHEN Colm McGarvey agreed to take the Gortin job at the start of the season, he did so with a firmly held belief that they could make a breakthrough in the Tyrone Intermediate Championship.
They’ve been competitive in recent years, reaching the semi-final in 2017, and McGarvey’s hunch that the pieces were in place for a lengthy championship run has proven correct.
They haven’t done it the easy way; like senior counterparts Dungannon, they’ve survived three periods of extra-time, including a cathartic victory over neighbours Greencastle in the semi-finals, so they’re a battle-hardened bunch at this stage.
McGarvey said: “In all honesty when I was asked to get involved at the beginning of the year, I felt this group was at a stage where they’ve been together for four of five years, and that there’s a possible championship bubbling under the surface.
“They’ve got the youth, they’ve got the experience, and I thought now was their time. So reaching a championship final has been a goal for us. Winning the championship final is a different thing so we’ll give it our best shot.”
Despite the cool exterior, it’s a safe bet that McGarvey’s as stoked as anyone by Gortin’s dramatic run to this weekend’s decider against Edendork: he was a key member of the St Patrick’s team that last won the Intermediate Championship, back in 2003, and his sons Eoghan and Brian have played out of their skins on their run to the final.
That alone pretty much sums up Gortin in a nutshell – they’re a small, tight-knit group who would bleed themselves dry for the blue and yellow gansai – and McGarvey is glad that the local community have got to share in their journey.
“It’s nice that the boys are getting a crowd in to watch them. We’re a small but passionate club and everyone loves their football. We’ve got great support and it’s nice that they’re seeing the lads playing well.”
FULL STORY IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP SUPPLEMENT INSIDE THURSDAY’S ULSTER HERALD
Posted: 8:22 am September 19, 2020