Courceys happy to be the underdogs as they prepare to face Charleville in the PIHC final

Courceys happy to be the underdogs as they prepare to face Charleville in the PIHC final
Courceys' Dan Lordan bursting past Valley Rovers' Kevin Canty. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

COURCEY ROVERS will enter this Sunday’s PIHC final as underdogs.

They’ve beaten some fine teams to make it to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, including Castlelyons and Valley Rovers, but Charleville are hot favourites.

That doesn’t bother their coach Diarmuid Corcoran one bit. They were four points down against Valleys and hit six of the last seven points, and three in a row from Jerry O’Neill and Seán Twomey in a dramatic finale.

“We don’t fear anyone. We didn’t fear Castlelyons and we didn’t fear Valleys.

“The players stood up and won it at the end. They deserve all the credit.

“When there were five teams left we were fifth favourites, when there four teams left we were fourth favourites, and with three left we were third favourites. Sure so what? Ben O’Connor is over Charleville, they’re going fierce well but we’re confident. We believe in ourselves, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be heading to a county final.

“The camogie side of the club did fantastically well to get to the final and that’s a real achievement. The finals themselves take on a life of their own but we know we have the ability to perform.”

Twomey, O’Neill and keeper Stephen Nyhan came up with vital plays in the semi.

“Seán’s a savage talent and we’re proud to have him in the club. Jerry Neill in the middle of the field carried ball and some fella steps up every day. Tadhg Sullivan has been our scorer-in-chief up to now and we know he’ll have a big game again in the final.

“Stephen was in Limerick the last couple of years but he’s working in Cork now, an ever-present at training, and his touch is really in.

“His presence around is massive for us, as well as his free-taking and everything else.”

Courcey Rovers goalkeeper Stephen Nyhan pointing a free. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Courcey Rovers goalkeeper Stephen Nyhan pointing a free. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“For much of the second encounter at Páirc Uí Rinn, Courceys looked like they’d be beaten. Yet they never stopped hooking, blocking and covering ground.

“Nothing went right for a long time but they worked and worked to keep themselves in the game and while we were four points down that was it. The attitude and work-rate was superb.

“At half-time they felt they didn’t do themselves justice but that second half was superb. The backs were superb. We’ve been holding teams to 14 points all year but Charleville are a different kettle of fish.”

This will be the club’s fourth final in the grade since 2004, with their sole victory coming in 2011. It’s also a repeat of 2001 when Courceys defeated Charleville in the junior decider.

“We hadn’t won two matches in a season since 2011 when we won the county. We came back down from senior in 2014. This year was always about getting a second win and then going as far we could.”

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