Blackrock are driven by the hurt of losing last year's county final

Blackrock are driven by the hurt of losing last year's county final
Blackrock's Gary Norberg wins the ball from St. Finbarr's Colm Keane. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THERE is no shouting from the rooftops in Church Road but deep down the optimism levels must be rising that bit with every passing game that the long wait for a Cork County SHC title might be coming to an end.

There’s a hell of a long way to go yet but it’s definitely a case of so far, so good for this current Rockies outfit.

Last Saturday they passed another big test by ousting their old foes the Barrs from the championship to set up a semi-final meeting with Midleton.

In the aftermath of the victory over the team from Togher, team boss Fergal Ryan stated that he was very satisfied with the outcome.

“It was another important win, the Barrs had a very good win over Douglas the last day so we came down here today on edge. I think we play that way a bit too, on edge but once we got ahead we were able to stay ahead.

“I would not say it was always comfortable but we always had that bit of a gap and it didn’t have us asking huge questions of ourselves as the game went on.’’ 

Ryan was aware that the opposition was coming into the game with quite a bit of momentum behind them but he was happy with how his players had performed.

“Looking at the game there, I would be happy enough. I thought today was a better performance than we gave last week against Ballymartle. We seemed to be a bit sharper and, hopefully, in the game against Midleton, we’ll have gained another bit of sharpness.

“We have two weeks of training coming up although our footballers and intermediate hurlers are out next week. That’s a little bit of disruption you’d rather not have but it’s a good place to be as well.’’ 

The former Cork star acknowledged that the goal secured by Tadhg Deasy was the game-defining score and it put his side into a very advantageous position coming down the home straight.

“It did and I suppose from a Barrs perspective, it knocked a bit of the stuffing out of them and I think we either went eight or nine up at that stage.

“That’s a hard one at the stage that it was and hard to get yourself motivated to come back from. It was perfect timing from us to push the game a bit further away from them." 

Blackrock management Fergal Ryan and Wayne Sherlock. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Blackrock management Fergal Ryan and Wayne Sherlock. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Ryan was happy enough at the break although he accepted that the goal from Conor Cahalane for the Barrs had allowed them back into the equation.

“It did and I suppose that they had a couple of wides as well and if they were on form with their shooting we would not have been the two points ahead.

“The goal definitely gave them added momentum but lucky enough half-time arrived and it gave us an opportunity to regroup." 

And the hunger in the team from last season’s final loss?

“Yes, I think it’s there definitely and that has to be one of the motivating factors for us and I hope that is what drives them into the next game as well.

“Hopefully, we can get back into a final again and get a county because all those lads, apart from Dave Cashman, don’t have that.’’

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