AFTER a classic final, Charleville selector Mervyn Gammell was delighted with the win over Fr O’Neill’s.
Beating the East Cork outfit 1-23 to 4-13 takes them back up to top tier of Cork hurling next year.
Gammell, a well-known figure with the Avondhu club, admitted it didn’t look likely in the first half.
“Fantastic, absolutely fantastic to win, but it didn’t look like it would happen for a long while. But we have full faith in the lads and there was a strong breeze there and we knew we would come into it and that’s what it’s all about: happy days.
“We were out in the warm-up field beforehand and the wind was strong, but maybe it caught us by surprise when we came into the main pitch with the surroundings.
“All of a sudden we were five points down and it looked like it was going away from us and we had a lot of wides in that early spell, poor ones and maybe we should have been closer.
“But as I said, we have full faith in the lads, they did it two years ago against Feakle and they just kept hurling and hurling and they worked their way back into it."
Danny O'Flynn was Man of the Match for hitting 0-6 from play, while Darragh Fitzgibbon excelled once again, rattling over 1-8.
“We had the wind in the second half and then the likes of Danny O’Flynn really came into the game. He’s a fantastic player and has been around now for the last 10 years or so and he led by example and got a couple of brilliant scores when we needed them.
“But again, our bench made a difference and you need that now in the modern game. The subs scored three or four points between them and every score was vital in that second-half."
Their bench press was vital: Tim Hawe and James O'Brien clipping over two points apiece.
“We used 21 players coming into the final and all the lads who came on made a difference to get us to the final and made it very difficult to try and pick the team.
“Some of the lads were very disappointed to lose out but we were confident that if we needed to bring them on they would play their part and that proved to be the way.
“We have had some good battles with Fr O’Neill’s and all credit to them they did get two goals, which made the last few minutes very unpleasant for us, but thankfully we held on.”