Lowndes boost for the battle of Blanch

by James Hendicott
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ST PEREGRINES selector Gareth Walsh is in positive mood ahead of the Clonsilla side’s Senior Football Championship opener against local rivals St Brigid’s who currently sit two divisions above the penguins.
While Brigid’s have long lingered in the upper echelons of Dublin football, Peregrine’s are one of the lowest ranked clubs in the competition looking to punch above their weight year after year.
“We wouldn’t be going into a game like this expecting to lose,” Walsh said ahead of their latest, distinctly local challenge.
“We believe we can beat them, not many people would have had us beating Fingal Ravens from the first division last year. These things happen.
“It adds a bit to the game, being a local match up; it’ll spur us on,” he continued. “But you never need too much extra motivation for the championship. You talk about priorities at the start of the season and ours is returning to the seniors in the league [a promotion to the second tier]. Anything we can get out of the championship is a bonus.”
Peregrine’s star man Eric Lowndes will be back for the contest with a three or four week break from his Dublin role aligning with the fixture.
He will be a welcome boost for Peregrines, though Walsh has a pragmatic view of the impact of Lowndes regular Dublin outings on his panel.
“Fingallians, who are also seniors and in the third divisions like us, play a lot of their games with Paul Flynn side-lined. It’s just part of the game that Dublin come first, and we need to be strong enough without Eric,” he argued.
“He comes in an adds strength but we have a good mix of youth and experience in the panel. When Eric comes back he does add something with the drills and the presence he brings around the club.”
Peregrines are in the midst of putting together a three-year plan that will reach into all areas of the club, together with Dublin West County Games Officer Niall Cooper, and have recently secured first team sponsorship from local taxi firm D15 Taxis.
“The three-year plan will be a bit of everything, from reaching into the community and offering the best facilities we can, to getting everybody on the same page at the club,” Walsh explained.
The game takes place on Saturday, April 22 at 5.30pm in IT Blanchardstown.

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