Captain Verling: it is great to be part of creating a bit of history
CLOUGHDUV captain Mark Verling was the toast of Mallow GAA Club last Sunday afternoon as he posed for pictures with Cloughduv’s adoring fans - young and old.
Verling had to battle hard to make the final and even though he had just guided his side to the Holy Grail of provincial glory and delivered a rousing acceptance speech he really was only touch-and-go right the way up to throw-in - however thankfully for all concerned he was able to prove his fitness.
“I didn’t get to train too much coming up to the game. I trained on Thursday for the first time and I came through that training, strapped up the leg and thankfully it held up fine thank God.
“It really is a special day, a huge day for the club and it is great to be part of creating a bit of history. All along your goal is to win Mid-Cork and take it every game at a time but when you are in these positions (finals) you just have to make the most of it and enjoy it and we did that today. When you try to enjoy it you find it easier to relax and today I think we just enjoyed it more than anything.”
While Cloughduv may have dominated the majority of the show-piece fixture the conditions meant that this was a game of changing tactics and the victors needed to adapt to the varying conditions.
“It really was a game of two halves. We had to work really hard in the first half, it was tough and we had to bring a man back against the wind but we went in two points up at half time and we just said at the break that we would start again at nil all and try to get the early scores.
“We had the wind in that second half but the wind won’t win you any game so luckily we managed to get on top and dominated there. They were coming back at us for a while but we just pulled some men back and managed to pull away again. We were comfortable enough late on as they needed goals so once we didn’t leak a goal we had that cushion.
“It was tough there in the middle third, packed in to be fair - I don’t know whether that was our doing or theirs but for the last 10 minutes we were trying to get our hands on the ball and ease the pressure and get it as far down the pitch as possible to regroup – but all that doesn’t matter now, we won the Munster Championship and that is all that matters.”
The side have been together for the best part of 11 months however Verling feels that isn’t a problem for his side as their collective love of the game trumps all.
“We have had a long year but we are all enjoying it. We just love hurling and that is the main thing. I am not sure if we will get a rest or not and I wouldn’t mind a week or two off over Christmas but knowing the lads they will have us back training straight away but either way we will just look forward to it again.”
Whether Verling and his teammates get some time off or not really depends on the powers that be in Cloughduv however whether they get to put the legs up or not there is little doubt that this side deserve whatever positives are coming their way.