WORK-ETHIC and a great team bond were just two of the attributes that helped St Finbarr’s secure a notable victory over Douglas in the Cork SHC last Saturday at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, according to team boss Ronan Curran.
The Southside club without a title since 1993 exhibited a lot of the old Barrs spirit in ousting one of the championship favourites from the competition and they’ll believe now that they can compete with the best of the rest still in remaining in the chase.
“It’s hard to put it into words what this means to our club, the work rate and a great team bond were very important in this win," Curran told the Echo.
“We were written off by many after our poor performance the last day against Killeagh but the lads put in a huge effort in training and we knew coming in here we had a chance.
“Our message to the players going out was to give it everything, leave it all out on the pitch and they responded brilliantly.
“It’s only a third-round game but it was a vital win for us."
One of the club’s great servants, Robert O’Mahony delivered 1-3 from play while rising star, Conor Cahalane, despite being ill, still managed three big points. The Barrs will now face the Rockies or Ballymartle in the quarter-final.
Meanwhile, one of the best individual performances of the seven third-round games that were played came from Conor Lehane for Midleton against the Glen.
He scored 1-10 in his team’s one-point win in the second game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and, amazingly, in both games the scoreline was similar, 1-18 for the Barrs, 0-20 for Douglas and the same in the Glen, Midleton encounter.
Champions Imokilly were without star players Seamus Harnedy, Deccie Dalron and Ger Millerick and lost a few more through injury during the course of the game but they still eased past Bishopstown to move into a quarter-final tie with Newcestown.
They remain the hot favourites to retain the title but team boss Fergal Condon remains very cautious.
“I thought we were a bit rusty here but we are delighted with the win. We were without a few big players for us and we lost a few more.
“But the lads that came in did very well and we’ll have plenty of selection headaches going forward.
“A lot of the players are involved in big club games next weekend so we’ll be watching out and hoping that they all come through.’’
Newcestown won the big West Cork showdown against Bandon while UCC, without a lot of their big names, overcame Erin’s Own.
They lined up without Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Tom Devine and Michael Breen but, similar to Imokilly, they have a depth of resources available to them.
Current Cork player Tim O’Mahony and former star Jamie Coughlan scored 2-11 for Newtownshandrum between them as the former champions ousted Bride Rovers.
They will now face Midleton in the last eight.
1. Imokilly v Newcestown
2. UCC v Sarsfields
3. St Finbarr's v Blackrock or Ballymartle
4. Midleton v Newtown
Semi-finals: 1 v 2, 3 v 4