Castlebar Mitchels’ midfielder Barry Moran believes that his side’s previous heartbreak in the All-Ireland Club Championship can drive them on to glory this year.
Moran was one of the stars of the show for Castlebar in their 2-10 to 0-11 victory over Corofin in the quarter-finals, scoring 1-02 himself as his side earned themselves a semi-final showdown with Ulster Champions Crossmaglen Rangers.
Now Moran believes that the lessons his side learned from their run to the 2014 All-Ireland final, where they lost to St Vincents, will stand them in good stead.
“The way we look at the All-Ireland final that we lost is that we gained a lot of experience and we’re hoping we can us some of that experience,” Moran said.
“We’ve lost one or two players but we have the core of the lads that we had two years ago that got to the All-Ireland final. They’re still with us and playing well, we’re two years more mature and we’ve more experience that will bode well for us in the future.”
Moran is also taking heart from the fact that his side performed so well against reigning All-Ireland champions Corofin, a game in which many expected the Mayo side to be beaten.
“We knew going into that game against Corofin, on their home patch in Tuam, that it was going to be a tough game but at the same time we knew the quality that we had,” he said.
“We came in under the radar, heads down, worked hard and the most pleasing thing would be the performance we put in. We put in a very good performance from 1 to 15.”
However, despite their impressive performances Moran knows that things are only going to get tougher for the Connacht champions and expects a massive test against Crossmaglen.
“What can you say about Crossmaglen? They’re such a great club. The tradition they have and the history they have,” he said.
“But we have a great club as well and if we go in with the right attitude and play well, then we’re well capable of taking them on and hopefully getting a result.”
“We’ve looked at Crossmaglen and they’ve got threats all over the field. You’ve got Aaron Kernan on the half-back line and Tony Kernan on the half-forward line, as well as Jamie Clarke and these lads on the inside.
“We know that if we’re not up to 100% and touch-tight that these boys can cause us serious problems.”