Éire Óg's star footballers stood up when they were needed against Newmarket

Éire Óg's star footballers stood up when they were needed against Newmarket
Colm O'Callaghan drives out. Picture: John Tarrant

ÉIRE Óg manager Harry O’Reilly was a happy man leaving Mourneabbey on Saturday after snatching a one-point Cork Premier IFC win against Newmarket.

Grateful for a strong finish that produced goals from Ronan O’Toole and Daniel Goulding.

“It was a battle. We knew that coming here. There are 15 teams in this competition and there is only a kick of the ball between every team. It is the best competition in Cork, the most even.

“We knew what we were up against, they gave us a beating in the league. “We were prepared for it, but we were very slack starting off.

“We were lackadaisical in the first half. I thought we were dead and buried at one stage, we were under fierce pressure.

“All we wanted was to be in the hat for the next day. With 15, 20 minutes left it looked like we weren’t going to be in the hat.

“Every year, we get to a quarter-final or semi-final, but we are good enough to win it. We need a little bit more. We were beaten by Cill na Martra in April, it seemed a long, long way to get back to a quarter-final. And we are there now.”

Airborne John Mullins contests the ball against Barry O'Connor. Picture: John Tarrant
Airborne John Mullins contests the ball against Barry O'Connor. Picture: John Tarrant

He praised the team for their resolve.

“We brought Kevin Hallissey on, he really changed things. Ronan (O’Toole) came into it in the second half. He is a big strong man. He runs at them with pace.

“Between him and Hallissey I thought they caused a lot of trouble. And then Jack (Murphy) and Colm (O’Callaghan) kicked some great scores.

“Daniel Goulding takes the frees and he got a great goal as well. He is always sneaking around it there.

“He is the man you would want going through. He scored 1-8, fair play to him.

“That is what he is worth to us, he is worth seven or eight points a game to us.

“We play Ballingeary in the quarter-final. We played them last year, it was a tight game, I think we won by two points. That is five weeks away.

“It is a big break again. We have a couple of weeks of hurling so we won’t s see much of them. The hurlers will keep them on their toes for us.”

They had to field without suspended goalkeeper Chris Kelly.

“Chris is a big player for us. He is a Cork player.

“He is a very dedicated player. He has never been in trouble in his life. It is totally out of character. Chris lives for football.

“Of all them lads there, he lives for it, he breathes it night and day. We feel upset for him more than anything else.”

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