Saturday 7th October 2017
Toner lays it on line as Ballygalget eye provincial glory
By John Campbell
Ballygalget hurling club captain Ben Toner certainly believes in telling it like it is. When his side just managed to get the better of Portaferry in the Down senior championship final last month, 2-13 to 2-12, Toner promptly hailed the faith shown by the management in the players.
"Fair play to them, when we had poor numbers at training earlier in the year the management stood by us and we have been able to go on and retain our title," declared Toner.
Tomorrow Ballygalget can take a step towards further success when they meet Fermanagh representatives Lisbellaw in the Ulster club championship semi-final on their home soil (2.30pm).
It's a challenge which Toner and his team-mates are relishing as they see it as another opportunity to do their management proud.
"We know it's going to be tough but we are up for it," he asserts.
Ballygalget's progress has been underpinned by the work-rate of Gareth 'Magic' Johnston and Brook Byers at midfield, the finishing ability of Cormac Coulter and Toner's leadership skills.
The peninsula outfit will face a Lisbellaw side that, while a close-knit, cohesive unit, has not had the advantage of any championship action because of their 'free passage' into the Ulster club series.
Nonetheless in brothers Ciaran and Sean Corrigan, the McGarry duo John Paul and Kevin, Ryan Bogue and John Duffy they have players capable of posing problems for their opponents.
Lisbellaw manager Sean Duffy is very anxious to see his side get into their stride early and remain vigilant at the back, given that Cormac Coulter in particular is likely to pose a major threat.
Should they succeed in these two objectives, Lisbellaw will have some cause for optimism - but the indications are that Ballygalget should book their place in the final.