‘I thought it was gone from us there, but our lads never say die’

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - BY TIMMY SHEE­HAN

BREN­DAN Ma­hony was at the helm when Crotta made the big break­through at this grade last sea­son. He ac­knowl­edged all the good work on­go­ing in the club at the mo­ment, and, un­der­stand­ably was proud of his charges, given the char­ac­ter they dis­played in a nail bit­ing fin­ish.

“We knew Abbey­dor­ney / Par­nells had a good team put to­gether, we knew they were up for the game. Favourites mean noth­ing when two hurl­ing teams go out to­gether. Look de­lighted to get the win to­day in fair­ness, I thought it was gone from us there, but, our lads, they never say die, the ex­pe­ri­ence of last year prob­a­bly stood to us, we kept going right to the very end, we never give in, got the goal, that’s cham­pi­onship hurl­ing.

“I am around long enough now to know that the match is never over un­til the fi­nal whis­tle. We told the boys that all week long, we keep going, we keep going, and that’s it. We are try­ing to build a team in Crotta, we won the Un­der-16 County Cham­pi­onship this year.

“There’s a lot of work be­ing done in Crotta, two back to back Mi­nor Hurl­ing ti­tles, we are happy with where we are at the mo­ment. It was the turn­ing point (goal chance for Par­nells at the end of the first half) in the game re­ally, if they had got the goal that time we would have gone in a point up.

“Abbey­dor­ney / Par­nells are a team that will be back next year, they came with a strong team, a good side. I think there’s only one of them up on eigh­teen years of age, so they will be there or there­abouts next year if they keep it to­gether, their day will come as well, a fine team, well coached.

“We have waited long enough, we won no cham­pi­onship up to last year, we will en­joy to­day, tonight, to­mor­row and look­ing to com­ing back with these lads in the next few years.”

It’s not easy to gather ones thoughts and put to­gether some words which will sum up ones feel­ing’s at the end of a game of such vary­ing emo­tions, es­pe­cially when one has lost in such ag­o­nis­ing cir­cum­stances.

How­ever, the O’Dor­ney / Par­nells team man­ager Timmy Weir was pretty prag­matic and gra­cious in his as­sess­ment of events.

“It was an aw­ful way to lose, but I sup­pose Crotta were al­most in the same po­si­tion a cou­ple of min­utes to go when we got a goal so, look, we were hop­ing we would hold out, but it just wasn’t to be.

“You have to close it out when you are down to that, that’s what the teams who are win­ning do, it’s some­thing we have to get into our pro­gramme when you are on top in the fi­nal min­utes you stay there.

“We were strug­gling at times in the match, we were on top com­ing near the fin­ish, I wouldn’t say we thought we had it in the bag, but we were in a very good po­si­tion, we went up a point or so.

“Look, it was a tough old game, maybe not a great game, you would be ex­pect­ing a bet­ter game out of both teams, it was a tough strug­gle, a bit frac­tious at times, play was bro­ken up a bit.

“Look, well done to Crotta, they put in a big ef­fort into un­der age hurl­ing over the last five, six years and they’re show­ing the fruits of it here, and last year as well. They’re going from strength to strength, they won the Un­der 16 as well, and that’s the work they have done.

“All the teams are putting in a bit of work, Crotta es­pe­cially have put in a lot of work, a lot of peo­ple in­volved, and you would have to say fair play to them. It was great to see six, seven play­ers there from Par­nells be­ing in­volved.

“That in it­self made a good oc­ca­sion out of it. Tough on those fel­lows as well, but, they have a chance of be­ing there again.

“Maybe we will have a strong team com­ing for next year, most of the lads are un­der age again, so, we will be hope­ful.”

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