“There’ll be a fan­tas­tic Christ­mas in Clough­duv if any­body wants join us”

The Corkman - - SPORT - BY DIAR­MUID SHEE­HAN

IT is only the mat­ter of a few short weeks ago that Tim Barry-Mur­phy guided his side to the heights of Cork In­ter­me­di­ate hurl­ing for next year, but those that thought county supremacy was the full ex­tent of the coach’s am­bi­tions were proved wrong last Sun­day as Clough­duv added pro­vin­cial supremacy to the ear­lier success.

Barry-Mur­phy, as one would ex­pect, was on cloud nine af­ter his charges claimed the Mun­ster ti­tle. “It is fan­tas­tic, it is com­pletely new for the club and all the lads. We knew very lit­tle about them ex­cept the fact that they were a ter­rific hurl­ing team and they showed it there to­day. They never gave up and pushed us all the way.

“Con­di­tions were dif­fi­cult. There was a strong wind blow­ing down the field. It was a cross wind, and that can be hard. Nor­mally we like to play with it start­ing off but we lost the toss. At half-time we were in a good po­si­tion, but I said to the lads there is never a match won at half-time. We have been fin­ish­ing the first half of matches strong. And again to­day, we got two or three points with­out re­ply be­fore the break.”

Barry-Mur­phy was well aware that the same style of play against the wind was un­likely to pay off with it so tac­tics had to be al­tered through­out the fix­ture.

“Against the wind, we played an ex­tra de­fender. We dropped our wing-back back and brought Brian (Ver­ling) out around the mid­dle of the field. Brian picked up a lot of ball. He has been fan­tas­tic all year, from frees and from play.”

The coach didn’t spare all his com­pli­ments for the back six and had plenty of praise for the work ethic all over the pitch, par­tic­u­larly for those up front who needed to de­fend like all the oth­ers.

“Our de­fence did very well all game - but our for­wards have to de­fend as well when the op­po­si­tion have the ball. They all worked their socks off, es­pe­cially with five for­wards against six backs. They had to dig in. They all played for the full 60 min­utes.”

While the game was played at a neu­tral Mallow fa­mil­iar­ity with the venue and the pitch was a fac­tor that Barry-Mur­phy couldn’t help but feel was a fac­tor on the day.

“Hav­ing played here (in Mallow) pre­vi­ously against Shan­bal­ly­more, we knew the pitch and the sur­face is great. We were de­lighted it was com­ing here to Mallow.”

The win had barely any chance of sink­ing in as his charges posed for their oblig­a­tory team photos but Barry-Mur­phy felt that there was one pe­riod of the game that was cru­cial to the win – a pe­riod of time that showed just what his side were will­ing to do to win. “To win a Mun­ster cham­pi­onship with your own club is fan­tas­tic but it was re­ally hard work.

“Play­ing into that strong wind we blocked, we hooked and we never gave them a chance. There was one stage there where that went on for a few min­utes but even­tu­ally we came out with the ball and got a fan­tas­tic score out of it.”

All Ire­land com­pe­ti­tion will need to take a back seat for now as well-de­served cel­e­bra­tions kick off in Clough­duv – and it ap­pears we are all in­vited.

“There will be a fan­tas­tic Christ­mas in Clough­duv if any­body wants to come and join us”.

Clough­duv will head back into ac­tion in the new year when the chal­lenge will be fiercer than any­thing the club have faced be­fore when they square up to Kilkenny and Le­in­ster cham­pi­ons Dun­na­m­ag­gain in the All-Ire­land semi-fi­nal, but for now the boys in green will just have to set­tle for be­ing called Mun­ster Cham­pi­ons – a ti­tle they will never get tired of hear­ing.

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