Useful exercise for Strand Road ahead of County League decider
KERINS O’Rahillys’ manager Mike Quirke was delighted to see his team come out as champions of their home patch after a dire Coiste Trá Lí Final on Saturday night, and he described it as a welcome runout ahead of a County League final against Dr Crokes in the coming weeks.
Strand Road triumphed in spite of missing a number of strong players such as Gary Kissane, Shane Brosnan, Barry John Keane, Jack Savage, and Gavin O’Brien. Quirke explained, however, that there are no significant injuries to report from the camp.
It was a similar story on the Stacks’ side, and Quirke was sympathetic towards players near the end of what he described as a very long year.
“Barry John [Keane] is away, Jack [Savage] is away, John Ferguson is studying above in Dublin. They’re all fine, nothing major,” he said.
“It’s hard to keep fellas going; we had our first training session of the year out in Banna last January, and it could be December before we play Crokes. It’s too long, it’s too protracted, but we’ll try to get some work done between now and then.
“This was a useful exercise for us though,” he added. “We haven’t a lot done since losing to Crokes in the Championship.
“That’s our third Tralee title in a row, and we hadn’t won it in a while before that. When you’re not winning County Championships and you’re not winning other stuff, it’s important to keep wins coming, and I know the cup isn’t going to be taken to schools on Monday morning, but it’s nice to win on your own patch, and it’s nice to come away with a trophy.”
Quirke acknowledged that the terrible weather had a huge bearing on a game that was low on quality, but he admitted his team is “a long way short of where Crokes will be after they play in the Munster Championship”.
He also added that he was as impressed as everyone else at goalkeeper Shane Foley’s performance.
“He had a massive game,” Quirke said.
“He’s a young guy, early 20s, 20 or 21. He’s a very good shot-stopper.
“His kick out is fine too; it’s hard to judge on nights like these, but it wasn’t too bad. His handling is solid, he’s getting older, and he’s getting better.
“We need new guys like that to come out of the woodwork.”
Shane Foley has a bright future with the Strand Road clubifthis match is anything togoby.He produced four excellent saves, and the announcement of the young man as man of the match had teammates and supporters alike nodding in agreement after the game.
Yo u could name any one of Foley’s saves, but in a tight game, Tommy Walsh’s fantastic goal, showcasing good handling, awareness and accuracy as he turned his marker and fired to the net, was the crucial score.
Most of the O’Rahillys players came out in different numbers for the second half having changed their jerseys due to the appalling conditions. It made for a journalist’s nightmare, but itwas entirely forgivable. The weather was justthat bad.