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Cambridge Parnells GAA focus sights on Hertfordshire Senior Championship run





Cambridge Parnells GAA line-up for their clash with St Vincents Luton. Back, left to right, James Breen-Norris, Cormac Breen, Joe Bradley, Cormac Ryan, Ryan Scales, Cathal McCague, Conor Mullen, Conor O'Reilly and David O'Doherty. Front, left to right, Diarmuid McGowan, Luke Duffy, Carl Reilly, Robbie Fitzpatrick, John Corley, Ryan Rodgers, Fergal Hanna and Barry Grogan. Picture: Joe O'Neill (57765376)
Cambridge Parnells GAA line-up for their clash with St Vincents Luton. Back, left to right, James Breen-Norris, Cormac Breen, Joe Bradley, Cormac Ryan, Ryan Scales, Cathal McCague, Conor Mullen, Conor O'Reilly and David O'Doherty. Front, left to right, Diarmuid McGowan, Luke Duffy, Carl Reilly, Robbie Fitzpatrick, John Corley, Ryan Rodgers, Fergal Hanna and Barry Grogan. Picture: Joe O'Neill (57765376)

Cambridge Parnells GAA are hoping to take the momentum of reaching the Father O’Hanlon Cup final into the forthcoming Hertfordshire Senior Championship.

They had a depleted line-up to face reigning champions St Vincents of Luton in the final at Waltham Cross, but remained within touching distance through a cagey first half, being just a point adrift at the break.

But Luton used their strength in depth on the bench to pull clear, with three goals in the closing minutes sealing a 3-13 (22) to 1-4 (7) success.

Cambridge Parnells captain Barry Grogan said: “Obviously any cup final loss is hard to take but the lads performed great throughout this run, we just ran out of steam in the second half. But, we came fourth in the league and now second in the cup; we’re building momentum at the right time for the championship.

“No one would turn down any trophy, of course, but the championship has always been our main focus. We were down to the bare bones in the cup final but we’ve made sure everyone’s schedule is clear for this weekend and that all niggles have been looked after.”

The Hertfordshire Senior Championship is the focal point of the season, and Cambridge play the first of their three group-stage matches this Sunday (July 10) against St Colmcilles of St Albans on Coldham’s Common at 1.30pm.

Player-manager John Hickey is cautiously optimistic going into the tournament

“The lads have really stepped it up a gear recently,” he said.

“We went from one training a week to two when the league finished and we saw the early benefits of that in the cup and I know we can get better in the championship.

“We narrowly defeated St Colmcilles back in May but I know they will be a lot stronger on Sunday. We want to start strong and put on a good performance on our home turf.”

Parnells chairman Cormac Ryan added: "I've been delighted to see the team go from strength to strength across 2022. The playing pool has increased and results have started to turn around."

"Sunday will be a great occasion and I'd encourage anybody with an interest in sport to come down and watch, Gaelic football can be an incredibly exciting sport."



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