Cunningham wary of three-in-a-row talk

Former Galway hurling All-Ireland winner Anthony Cunningham is the St. Brigids team manager again this year and he will be trying to steer the Kiltoom club to a historic three senior titles in a row. He reports that the preparations for the final have gone very well this year.   ‘We are very happy with the way things have gone. We were conscious that the year was really long for us but we are happy now that things are coming right’ he said.    Anthony agrees that his team received a real test in the quarter-final (from Strokestown) and reflects now that maybe Brigids needed a tough game. ‘We knew that Strokestown would be tough. They are a very competitive, physical team and we knew we were up against it. I can say that we are expecting the same from St. Faithleachs on Sunday next. It may be a cliché but I expect the game to go down to the final five minutes’ he said.    The Brigids’ manager maintains that his panel is stronger this year. ‘We have had a few players leaving but more have come in and that’s the way it goes. We are very happy that some of the younger players are maturing nicely’ he said.    I asked Anthony was he worried that his defence conceded a fairly big score against Strokestown and 1-4 against Roscommon Gaels in the final 10 minutes of the semi-final. ‘Yes, we will be looking to tighten up in that regard. We lost concentration against the Gaels when we were well ahead and against Strokestown we gave away some silly frees which were punished by John Rogers. We know that Faithleachs are very strong up front so we will have to be  on the top of our game".    Anthony Cunningham won’t entertain talk of three in a row. ‘This is a once-off county final for us, and that’s all. We know that Faithleachs will give us a hell of a game and we hope that we can deal with it on the day. There is a great buzz back in the panel now and we are very hopeful that we can win the title again. If we play to our ability we will do it’ he concluded.