FERMOY are up and running in the Cork County PIHC and their victory over last season’s runners-up Courcey Rovers delighted their team coach Denis Ring.
A pulsating game at Páirc Uí Rinn wasn’t decided until the teams played out an extra 20 minutes before the North Cork team emerged victorious.
“You might say that this is early days in the year but suddenly when a game goes like that you want to win it," Ring told The Echo.
“A couple of things went against us from time to time but our lads kept coming back. I thought we started very well and we went up by four or five points.
“They came back and went ahead but we finished the half really well. We started the second-half okay as well but we got hit for a goal and that was a turning point for them.
“But significantly we got the next three points from play and that was a great response. There was a few crazy things happening, they got a 65, that was unusual, to say the least but, in fairness to our lads, they kept their heads up, held their composure, used the ball very well."
Ring acknowledged the strength of the opposition and he believes they will be heavily involved later on in the year.
“Courcey Rovers are a fantastic team, beaten by a point after a replay last year by Charleville, they see themselves as a senior team, they are a serious outfit.
“But our pride has been hit over the last few years from a hurling perspective, our footballers have done really well but we haven’t gone away.
“This is a great boost for hurling in the club and I am really proud of the way the team performed today."
One of the main contributory factors in the win was the form exhibited by Liam Coleman whose haul of 14 points was hugely significant.
“I thought that Liam was fantastic, he showed great composure not just from frees but from play as well.
“He used the ball well and he’s a very elusive player. He’s a phenomenal hurler, he’s obsessed with it, lives for it and he got his right rewards today and I am delighted for him."
With the footballers having taken the scalp of Castlehaven, the pressure has been lifted to a great extent in the club.
“This is a very significant victory for us as well from the viewpoint of rankings next year. Winning your first round is very important and that was an incentive for us.
“A lot of these lads were on the team that beat Castlehaven as well. There was a time when Fermoy would have been questioned from a character perspective but you can put those comments away now.
“It was important to dig out this result here, something that Courcey Rovers did last season.
“When the draw was made they were the top team going on last year. We were delighted with the draw and equally drawing the Haven in football.
“They were two testing games but we came through both and that is fantastic for the club now going forward into the summer.
“You can measure yourself against those teams but we still have a lot to learn but we’ll analyse everything and try to improve as a team."