Arravale Rovers and Galtee Rovers play in the Ballinalard Transport Ltd senior football final at Lattin on Sunday afternoon at 2.30pm.
Arravale will be slight favourites because of their impressive performance against Loughmore-Castleiney in the county quarter final,now that the latter overcame Clonmel Commercials in the semi-final last Sunday.
The fact that the West final will take place a week before the county final and that the winning side goes no further has takensomething away from next Sunday’s game. Not only is the final downgraded as a result but the whole championship was a bit of an anti-climax in 2013.
Earlier in the year the County CCC decided that divisional championships would have to be played on a knockout basis. The result was that the West championship, with four teams, had just two semi-finals before next Sunday’s game, a grand total of three gamesagainst nine games last year. The nine games included a replay in the semi-final.
Such a curtailment of games has meant that there has been very little senior football in the division this year. As well fewer games have meant less income. Last year the nine games brought in approximately €4,500. The likelihood is that this year’s championshipwill realise half that amount.
The West semi-finals were played at the end of August. Galtee Rovers defeated Aherlow by 1-10 to 1-5 at Sean Treacy Park on August 31.
The second semi, between Arravale Rovers and Eire Óg, went ahead at Dundrum the following day, with victory going to Arravale by 0-12 to 1-8.
The interesting thing about Sunday’s game is that the sides have avoided one another so far this year, meeting neither in the West nor the county championship. The last time they met in the championship was in the West semi-final in 2012. On that occasion the sides finished level at 0-10 each, but Arravale came out on top in the replay by 2-11 to 0-9. Both games were played in Lattin, the venue for this.
The Galtee team includes a mix of the old and the new, with probably greater emphasis on the more experienced. They hope that this experience will see them through against a more talented Arravale side. In fact the match will probably be a very close affair, with outcome dependent on how well either side takes its chances. Each side will be well-acquainted with the other and will do its best to counteract the strengths of the other.
Galtee Rovers hoped to have the game played on either Saturday or Monday, because of soccer and rugby commitments of some of the panel, but the game has been fixed for Sunday.