Nathan Sherry has been consistently handed the difficult tasks all year in the Two Mile House team, charged with shutting down each opponent’s main attacking weapon in the big games.
More often than not he has performed that role with aplomb, helping to steer the small village club to the Kildare Intermediate Championship title, before going one better on Saturday afternoon by landing the Leinster title by pipping Shamrocks of Offaly by 1-8 to 0-10.
Sherry was superb once again as he faced off against Offaly star Nigel Dunne. It was an exhilarating battle between the pair as Shamrocks sought to isolate Dunne in one on one situations, and while he may have kicked four points from play, Sherry arguably edged the duel.
“He’s probably the best club footballer I’ve faced all year; if not in my career… He can kick of both feet and he’s a super opponent to play against,” Sherry told KildareNow.
“The conditions were poor enough today though, so I’d say that affected him.
Dunne’s frustrations eventually got the better of him late in the day when he was sent off for milling through William Burke with a late hit on the sideline, earning the full-forward a black card.
“I had actually been moved off him by that stage, so I wasn’t too bad. I would have rather gone off him earlier,” laughed Sherry.
It is a new role which the Two Mile House defender has revelled in this year, having previously played most of his football at either wing-back or wing-forward. It’s a case of doing what’s best for the team however, even if his natural instincts do urge him to attack a little more.
“I used to be an attacking wing-forward and now I’m kind of the go-to man-marker unfortunately,” said Sherry with a smile.
“I’d like to go forward a little more but what has to be done has to be done.”
In the end, he was happy to help his side stave off a late fightback from the Offaly side as they held their to secure the one-point win. It was far from a sure thing however, as Shamrocks managed to fight back from eight points down to leave the game in the melting pot right at the end.
“We were [worried] because it was a strong wind that we were playing into, but we tackled well and we kept breaking them up when they attacked. They threw everything at us in fairness to them and we held out,” continued Sherry.
Five years after making their first Leinster breakthrough when annexing the Junior Championship, Two Mile House have gone another rung up the ladder by claiming the Intermediate title. They subsequently won an All-Ireland title on the back of their last provincial success, and dreams of a Croke Park return are now coming into view.
“It’s another step up and it’s brilliant. Hopefully we can continue and get back to Croke Park. We’ll take one game at a time now, but it’d be brilliant,” concluded Sherry.
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