INNISCARRA mentor Joe McCarthy is no stranger to county finals having been involved in all the club’s successes in recent years.
However he knows just how lucky his side are to be contesting Sunday’s SE Systems Senior Camogie decider after having to battle with all their might to hold off the huge challenge of a strong Killeagh side.
“We are thrilled to have got over the line and to be honest we know how lucky we are, Killeagh could have forced extra time with the last puck of the game and I suppose really it was a hard way for them to lose.
“It took two games to separate us and again the replay was a superb game full of everything that is good about the game, great skill and a terrific pace.
“We had to call on all our experience to make it to the final but now we have to put that behind us and concentrate on the job in hand.”
That is taking on a youthful Sarsfields outfit and Joe is under no illusions as to the huge task facing Inniscarra.
While the Mid Cork outfit will be favourites given their dominance on home soil and in Munster in recent years, replacing the previously all-conquering Milford as the team to beat, Sars are a coming force at all levels, recently collecting U14 and U16 county crowns.
“Sars are a good team, they are used to winning all along the line they have good young teams used to success and it comes as no surprise to see them in the senior final.
“They have a huge catchment area and a huge volume of players coming through the ranks and all credit to them.
“They have beaten good teams to reach the final and they are there on merit. They had to go to extra time also to overcome Carbery but they held their heads and closed that game out and we know it will take a huge effort from us to retain the title.”
Joe McCarthy is well used to challenges he has been involved with camogie in Inniscarra at various levels for 25 years.
He is also chairman of the County Board Development Committee that put the fantastic Castle Road facility in place and his drive and enthusiasm for this continuing project is to be applauded.
Along with selectors Martin Murphy, Kevin Murphy, Andrew McCarthy, Joe O’Herlihy and coach Ger Dinan, he is now one win away from four in a row.
“I suppose we won the first one and then had to work hard to put back to back titles together and last year I suppose there might have been pressure to do three in a row but really we didn’t talk about it.
“When we achieved it the feeling was great, so there is no talk of four it is just work hard and hold onto our crown if we can but we know it will be hard.”
He had huge praise for the manner in which Inniscarra overcame Killeagh, when the veterans showed all their class and cuteness to hold out.
“We went into the lead mid-way through the first half but full credit to Killeagh they fought back and at half time it was level but we didn’t panic we simply re-jigged a few things and they worked out for us.
“I suppose really the experience helps as well and with players such as Rena, Treasa, captain Niamh Dilworth there leading the way the younger ones respond well.”
Inniscarra have had to compete to the last throughout the campaign.
“We have seen some excellent games in this championship all very close and really for us it has been just one game at a time we defeated Éire Óg in round one and met again and had a fierce hard battle with them.
“It was the same against St Catherine’s where we again had to call on all our resources to get over the line.
“I think these games stood to us as we faced Killeagh and had to call on all our resources.
“We have a nice blend of experience and a few younger players stepping up this year to the starting team so these games have all stood to them and we are looking forward now to the huge challenge Sarsfields will pose.”