Lyons looking forward to Sunday's action

Thursday, 11th October, 2018 8:00pm

Lyons looking forward to Sunday's action

Summerhill selectors Eamonn O'Shea and Dave Clare with manager John Lyons (right).

It certainly isn't from a lack of trying that Summerhill manager John Lyons hasn't yet achieved the Holy Grail suggests FERGAL LYNCH.

After leading Na Fianna to a Keegan Cup decider in 2013 and Summerhill to the final against Simonstown last year Lyons is hoping for third time lucky against Dunboyne at Pairc Tailteann next Sunday.

So he obviously must be doing something right to get this far so consistently?

If he is, then Lyons certainly isn't taking any of the credit and believes that Summerhill's ability to constantly punch above their weight is down to others.

“I don't know if I'm doing something right or not, I've lost the previous two,” quipped the Summerhill man who lost to his home club when manager of Na Fianna in 2013.

“It is a great achievement for the club to be back in another final and it has nothing to do with me. 

“This club has punched above its weight and always has done.

“Just look at the four semi-finalists this year, three from big urban sprawls and the other, us, a small little rural village. The grassroots in this club has been fantastic and the nurturing of talent is brilliant.

“We are lucky enough in this club that under-age teams continue to always get better. If we have a decent u-12 team they will become a better minor team, which is the trajectory that you want in any club.

“In that respect I believe the club will be a force in Meath for years. Getting to finals is absolutely brilliant, but as I've said it has nothing to do with me, it is all about all the great work being done in the club.

“Finals are all about winning for any club, it's great for the parish, but we will be hugely disappointed if we get beaten, no more than we were last year.”

So does Lyons learn from his chastening experiences in 2013 and 2017?

Or is it a case of learning from the mistakes of the past?

The Summerhill boss believes big games come down to small margins and he thinks next Sunday will be no different.

“In all seriousness, we got a tanking last year, but it still all came down to fine margins. We had three goal chances, but didn't take them. 

“Simonstown were the much better team on the day, but the goal they got that set them on their way was a blatant push in the back on Micheal Byrne, everyone in Navan saw it, but they got the goal, our heads went down. Everything we could do wrong last year we did wrong.

“Unfortunately we won't know if there were lessons learned from that until next Sunday, you never know until you have a go.

“Finals are funny, we started well last year, but then froze and we saw lads doing things that they never did before and might never do again.”

Throughout this 2018 campaign the Summerhill manager as constantly bemoaned the lack of consistency his side have produced and he believes that unless they can hit top form for 60 minutes next Sunday then they will come unstuck.

“Our front foot stuff has been very good this year, whether that was for 10, 15 or 20 minutes, and it has been mostly killing off teams, but in a final against Dunboyne we have to play for the 60 minutes.

“Of course we will be hoping to bring our experience to the game, but until you go out and play nobody has a clue what is going to happen, including ourselves.

“Again I'll speak about fine margins. We were having lapses in concentration and got away with it to a large degree this year, but we will not get away with playing poorly for 20 or 25 minutes against Dunboyne - fact.

“If we have the same first-half as we produced against Donaghmore/Ashbourne when we face Dunboyne then the game will be over at half-time. 

“All sport is a psychological thing, that's what life is, perception is reality really. If lads can see it and believe they can do then they can, but the flip side is also true, if lads start to worry about stuff and things don't go well then things can go wrong, that's also reality.

“It's all on the day and that is the way it is going to be.

There is no denying where both Summerhill and Dunboyne's strengths lie - their attacking units are formidable outfits, but Lyons reiterated that it all comes down to the day and how teams react to the situations they find themselves in.

“Our forwards were playing equally as well going into last year's final and they were completely shut out of the match,” he said.

“Whether we can find a key this year remains to be seen, we hope we can. As Mike Tyson used to say 'everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth', that's the truth.

“We know our front foot stuff is good enough to make us competitive in the final. We know that anything we have done so far this year probably won't be good enough to win next Sunday, but we also know that at our very very best we are capable of being competitive and with a little bit of luck maybe winning it,” concluded Lyons who is hoping to make it third time lucky.

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