Taite hopes to recreate 2005

Story by Paul Fitzpatrick

Friday, 12th October, 2018 4:40pm

Taite hopes to recreate 2005

Cuchulainns captain Adrian Taite.

When Cuchulainns beat Drumalee by 1-6 to 0-7 in the 2005 Intermediate Championship final, the future looked bright for the Cross-Mullagh men. Their young side, containing just two survivors from their previous IFC success in 1993, looked set to kick on and establish themselves at senior level.

And while they managed that, their time at the top table came to an end last winter when they were beaten in a relegation play-off by Lacken. Now, they're back in the decider and captain Adrian Taite is one of just a few players still standing from that Drumalee win, the others including John Flanagan, Gavin Daly, Killian Lynch, Seamus Clarke and, in a way, manager Niall Lynch, who came on as a sub back then.

Taite has good reasons to remember that warm October Sunday well, too; his goal proved the winner and the report in this paper heaped praise on the then-young defender, now slightly more mature midfielder.

"It was a case of one score deciding the destination of the honours," noted our match report.

"And it came 19 minutes into the second half from Cuchulainns left-back Adrian Taite who had joined up in a fine move beginning deep in their own half and carried through with precision and expert skill."

Thirteen years on and the popular Taite laughs when he's asked about the experience gained over that time.

"I don't think I've gained much experience since that to be honest!" he told The Anglo-Celt.

"Obviously it's a big game but it's just another game to be honest, we are trying to keep it as low key as possible. We're just trying to go in and play to our potential, that's all we're really looking at."

Mullahoran have the edge on experience in finals but whether that will be a factor, Taite is unsure.

"It's hard to know, obviously the more finals you play, the more you're used to it, the build-up and so on. Obviously most of the guys on our team wouldn't have much experience of finals at all.

"I'm not saying it will be a big difference but I'm sure some of the guys on the Mullahoran team might be more used to it than we are. But at the end of the day it's just another game and if both of us play to our potential, it will be a good one."

Having dropped down last season, a quick return to the top flight has been the goal since the outset for both sets of players. But while relegation is not exactly pleasing, it can be a positive in the long run, Adrian reckons.

"The same as Mullahoran, we're eager to go back up there. It's great to come down and get this chance, we haven't been doing that much at senior in the last few years to be honest.

"We were ticking over and never came close to winning anything so it's a good experience to come down and hopefully get straight back up. That's the plan but it's the same for Mullahoran.

"The two of us came down, it's all doom and gloom when you come down but if you can go straight back up, you go back into senior on the up and that's a big thing.

"We're hoping that if we do go back up that we can kick on from then and hopefully prove ourselves at senior level if we do get back there.

"We'll try and get over this first but we have some great young guys coming on and we have a few with a bit of county experience as well so it's looking like there's potential in the club to kick on.

“There's definitely good work being done so hopefully Sunday will be the start for a lot of our guys.

“It's obviously great, it's a proud time for me. I have been playing with the club, you know, forever. We have been playing senior football since 2004 and there are a few of us still hanging about from that team."

On a personal level, he is fit and raring to go and, he says, honoured to be charged with leading the team out on Sunday.

"It's nice to finally get to a final and be the guy who could potentially lift the trophy but at the end of the day it's a team effort. We've all put in the time and effort over the last six to eight months. But I'm delighted and will be a proud man to lead them out on Sunday.

"They're getting older, these hamstrings! No, no injuries at the minute for myself, I'm grand thank God, I don't say that too often! It's been a lucky championship for myself so far.

"Look, there are a few knocks in the team but hopefully Ronan [Carolan] will work his magic over the next few days and hopefully everyone will get to the pitch next Sunday, all going well."

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