WEST Cork and O’Donovan Rossa rising star Laura O’Mahony is hoping to banish the memories of last year’s Cork LGFA SFC county final loss to Mourneabbey.
The reigning All-Ireland champions are going for their sixth Cork LGFA senior championship title in a row so West Cork know they are in for their toughest match of the year at CIT this weekend. Last season’s drawn and replayed county final produced two encounters of the highest quality and this year should be no different.
The tiniest of margins will probably decide a county final in which Laura O’Mahony is hoping to eradicate the memories of last year’s disappointing county final replay defeat to the All-Ireland champions.
“I am really looking forward to the county final especially after last year,” the Cork and O’Donovan Rossa player told the Echo.
“Everyone had us down as underdogs going into the 2018 county final and nobody expected us to win above in CIT last year. The fact we were on top for a good portion of that game and we managed to get a draw meant people looked at us a bit differently, started to back us a bit more after that.
“Unfortunately, we lost the second day out in the replay. That was heartbreaking, to have gotten that far and get so close only to lose out. Hopefully, this time around we can actually prove to everyone we are good enough to go out there and beat Mourneabbey.”
O’Mahony has developed into a more versatile player since first breaking into the West Cork senior panel over 24 months ago. Under Brian McCarthy and his management team’s guidance, the O’Donovan Rossa stalwart has been deployed in a variety of positions but is welcoming the additional responsibilities when representing her division.
“I have actually played in quite a few positions this year including the semi-final win over Éire Óg where I started at wing-back,” O’Mahony commented.
“I always do my best no matter where I am asked to play, wing-forward, wing-back or in the forwards. It takes a bit of getting used to but I do enjoying the tackling element of Gaelic football and am working on my shooting as well to make sure I can do whatever job I’m asked.
“I’m enjoying the different roles and looking forward to just improving my game, no matter where I’m asked to play for Cork or West Cork.”
The 2019 version of West Cork’s senior setup includes plenty of pace with Daire and Eimear Kiely as capable of turning defence into attack as O’Donovan Rossa’s Laura O’Mahony. Although there has been an influx of new players, O’Mahony is settled into her divisional setup.
“I’m settled now since first breaking into the West Cork squad a couple of years ago,” the Cork senior inter-county player admitted.
“I remember just being out of minor and then starting the county semi-final against St Val’s. I was completely out of my depth though. The game was so fast and like nothing I’d ever experienced before. I could barely catch my breath.
“Now I’m used to the pace of it (senior football) and able take in all the tactics involved. I want to help West Cork win whichever way I can and just glad to be a part of the team.
“I am looking forward to playing in another county final so much. They don’t come around too often at all and the fact it is senior grade just makes it all the more special for me.
“Right now I am just glad to be able to play at senior club level and represent West Cork. It is hugely enjoyable and I am fully focused on Mourneabbey and Saturday’s county final.”
On the club scene, O’Donovan Rossa may not have hit the heights of their previous campaign but have managed to reach a Cork county league final. That’s an occasion Laura O’Mahony and her teammates are looking forward to plus the opportunity to conclude their season on a high note.
“Things have gone well for me with O’Donovan Rossa this year even though we didn’t do as well as last year,” the Skibbereen club’s star forward noted.
“We lost a few championship games alright but have a county league final to look forward to against Courcey Rovers in the next few weeks and all our players are really looking forward to that.”