A YEAR ago Mourneabbey manager, Shane Ronayne, was on the point of calling time on his reign in charge of the Mourneabbey.
He was doing so as he felt he had done all he could to win that elusive All-Ireland title and maybe a fresh voice was what they needed.
But the players convinced him to stay and was he glad he did as they got their moment of glory on Saturday night at Parnell Park.
The sheer emotion he showed at the end after beating Foxrock Cabinteely summed up what this meant to him and all involved.
“We have five counties and five Munster titles won and we were in three All-Ireland finals before this. We felt in those big games we didn’t perform.
“But this year we put two massive performances together in the semi-final and final and this means everything to me.
“I have had wins with other sides, Cork U16s, Cork seniors and my school in Cahir and my own club, but this was just special.
“They put everything in when they come down to the field and they have become a huge part of my life, both on the field and off it and I suppose that emotion shone through at the end.
“I suppose the big thing was we didn’t let that emotion get to us before the game. We didn’t talk about the hurt of last year and other years this time.
“We did that before and it didn’t seem to help, so we didn’t do it this year. We kept thinking about the positives and that we were going to perform in the final and I knew that if we did then we would win.
“I was asked during the week would we win and normally managers don’t answer questions like that, but I said we would win.
“I was that confident about winning as I felt we were in such a good place and you know they did it. We played on the front foot today and in previous finals maybe we sat back a bit and were a bit defensive.
“That’s just a fear of losing, but we worked on a plan in training and it involved pushing up on their kick-outs and it came together for us.
“We took a chance by pushing up and squeezing them and the risk was high but the reward was high as well and they got what they deserved and can enjoy the celebrations now,” concluded Shane.