Donncha O'Connor relishing another county final chance with Duhallow

Donncha O'Connor relishing another county final chance with Duhallow
Donncha O'Connor of Duhallow in action against Colm Scully and Jamie Burns, St Finbarr's, last season. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

VETERAN star Donncha O’Connor has never lost his passion for with Gaelic games.

Fiercely devoted to the Ballydesmond, Duhallow and the Cork jerseys over the years, he always showed a willingness to do whatever it took for the cause. He is a forward that combines work-rate, accuracy and doggedness.

Retired from inter county duty, O’Connor is still shining for his division and Duhallow fans are hoping for another big performance on Sunday.

“County finals are big days, I attended the hurling final beteen Imokilly and the Glen, there was excitement, big crowd, a curtain raiser, music, pipe band, parade and action. I quickly realised, we’ll be part of it this weekend; in three or four years, I will be going to county finals without the gearbag, this is bonus territory for me,” he said.

“It’s also bonus territory for the likes of Michael Mahoney, who is U20. I probably appreciate it more than he does for no doubt, there is a big career in front of him, there is enjoyment but whether that enjoyment remains continues onto Monday... Sunday will reveal all,” said the 2010 All-Ireland medallist.

Donncha O'Connor (Ballydesmond) and Conor O'Callaghan (Dromtariffe) will line out for Duhallow on Sunday. Picture: John Tarrant
Donncha O'Connor (Ballydesmond) and Conor O'Callaghan (Dromtariffe) will line out for Duhallow on Sunday. Picture: John Tarrant

While the Ballydesmond star remains one of Duhallow’s shining lights, O’Connor expects everybody to pull their weight in a bid to erase the disappointment from last season’s defeat to St Finbarr’s.

“We were disappointed, the game was there for the taking. Duhallow clawed their way back but mistakes were made, fair play to the ‘Barrs they emerged winners but a small rub of the green, it could had gone our way,” said O’Connor.

“A lot of us were disappointed, the defeat was never mentioned at any subsequent meeting. It's a cliche but we’ve taken it one game at a time this season, different fellas are driving the team, it has never gone back to last year yet everybody was hurting from that experience," he said.

Given the quarter-final pairings, Duhallow and Nemo were viewed as the two most consistent sides and the form book held up. O’Connor for one, holds Nemo in the height of respect and no surprise, he rates the Trabeg side as one of the outstanding teams in the country.

Picture: Jim Coughlan
Picture: Jim Coughlan

“Their record speaks for itself, its not so long since they appeared in an All-Ireland club final and we’re well aware of the massive task that lies ahead. It would be foolish of us if we concentrated on Nemo, we must bring a performance ourselves or we will be beaten.”

“As big as the task is and as good are Nemo, we’ve to get our show in order and tackle what Nemo have to offer. Every game is different, what experience brings is not to panic, that comes from the experience learned over the years,” he said.

As O’Connor points out, its a formidable Nemo that stands between Duhallow and regaining a hold of the Andy Scannell Cup for the first time since 1991.

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