Excitement builds as dates and times confirmed for 2020 All-Ireland Rounders Finals
Excitement builds as dates and times confirmed for 2020 All-Ireland Rounders Finals

Excitement builds as dates and times confirmed for 2020 All-Ireland Rounders Finals

Le Jamie Ó Tuama

At a meeting of GAA Rounders last Sunday it was confirmed that the 2020 GAA Rounders All-Ireland Finals would take place over the weekend of the 12th and 13th of June in Abbottstown, Dublin.

The Intermediate Ladies and Mixed Finals will take place on the Saturday when Meath’s Skryne take on Athenry of Galway in the Intermediate Ladies Final and Na Fianna of Dublin face Michael Glavey’s of Roscommon in the Mixed Final.

Sunday sees Monaghan’s Carrickmacross take on Glynn-Barntown of Wexford in the Men’s Final at 11.00am with both sides vying to win their first senior title. That final be followed by Mayo’s Breaffy taking on Glynn/Barntown in the Women’s Senior Final at 1.30. The Senior Mixed Finals, which see Erne Eagles of Cavan take on Glynn/Barntown, will then bring the day to a close at 4.00pm. Glynn/Barntown are hoping to become the first club to win three major titles in the same year.

We spoke to some of the players involved during the week to get their thoughts on the finals ahead. Seán Hughes of Erne Eagles explains the extra incentive his team have to overcome their rivals, Glynn/Barntown.

‘It’s great to back training and playing rounders again. We can now think about and plan for the All-Ireland Rounders Final. Glynn-Barntown will be tough opposition and they will be featuring in all 3 senior finals, a significant achievement in itself. They won the mixed last year and are current four in a row women’s champions and they are in the men’s final for the first time this year, so they really are the current standard bearers.

‘We, Erne Eagles, are in the mixed final which we haven’t won in a while, so we hope to do Cavan and Ulster proud. We’ll have lots of incentives as the senior mixed trophy is being renamed after one of our former members, Dympna Reilly who passed away suddenly a couple of years ago. We are hoping to do it for Dympna and we are looking forward to it.’

Meanwhile in Monaghan, Carrickmacross player Ronan Kiernan spoke about how much the club is looking forward to the final and about how they are raring to go!

‘Carrickmacross are absolutely delighted to be back in the final. It’s our first one since 2016. It has been a long road for all the teams involved but it’s a short run-in now with only one month left until we get to the final. We will just be focusing on being the best we can be over the next four weeks and doing as much as we can. Hopefully it’ll be one of those games. It’ll be all on the day really because form has gone out the window with being away from it for so long.

‘We are really looking forward to it and there’s a good buzz coming from the lads who were back out training this week so we are really looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll come out on the right side of it at 2pm on Sunday.’

Glynn-Barntown’s Caitríona Walsh spoke about how happy she is to be back on the playing field after lockdown.

‘After all the lockdowns it is so good to finally have the 2020 finals in sight. Like all other clubs we doubted if we would see a date but now that it is only weeks away, we know we have a lot of work to do here in Glynn-Barntown to get our three teams match ready.

‘Like everybody else the last 16 months have taken their toll on everyone’s physical and mental health so now more than ever we have a real appreciation for donning our club colours again and reconnecting with our teammates to play a sport that we all love so much.

‘We would like to wish our opponents Carrickmacross, Breaffy and Erne Eagles all the best on June the 13th. It is going to be a great day for the game of rounders, and we are so looking forward to the games ahead.’

Meanwhile, Colm Jordon of Breaffy, explained how he and his fellow players are focusing on getting themselves in the best shape possible for their battle against Glynn-Barntown.

‘Like all teams involved in the final it is great to have something to aim for and finally have a set date. Before lockdown and before the finals were postponed, we thought we were in a good place, so it is just about getting back there now over the next few weeks of training. It is about making them as competitive as we can and just sharpening our tools before the final on the 13th.

‘It is exciting. We’ve been trying to get here since 2017 and to finally make the breakthrough is what we are aiming for and with a bit of luck we’ll go one step further.

‘We know we are up against a strong Glynn/Barntown team. They are defending champions and their record speaks for itself. We won’t over worry about them, however. During the next couple of weeks, we will focus on ourselves and try to be in the best shape we can be come final day and may the best team win.

For further information on GAA Rounders check out their website at http://www.gaarounders.ie/