IT was a case of all’s well, ending well for St Finbarr’s in the quarter-final of the Cork County SFC against Douglas last Saturday night in Páirc Uí Rinn but the victory left their team boss Ray Keane reflecting on a performance that will need to be improved upon going forward.
A serious leg injury to goalkeeper Declan Murphy cast a shadow over the win and Keane had warm words of praise for his number one.
“We ended up winning by three points but he got the touch that put the ball out for a 45 but, unfortunately, he paid the price for the save and I would expect no less of anyone that goes out on the field for us, he died on the ball for us."
The Barrs boss acknowledged that his team were hanging on in the end despite the very positive start that they had got.
“We were hanging on, hanging on by a thread and if you go back 10 minutes earlier, Ian Maguire made a block to stop the ball going into the back of the net, what did we win by, three points?
“We started the game very well but we were not clinical enough as usual and that is stuff we have to work on.
“We are a long way off where we need to be in the semi-final.
“I saw both of them in the last few weeks and they are going very well in comparison to us. But at the end of the day we are in a semi-final, it’s as simple as that."
The Togher based team were coasting along with a nine-point lead inside 20 minutes, so might there have been an element of complacency at that juncture which subsequently allowed Douglas to reinvent themselves.
“That can happen but we were not clinical enough because we had two more goal chances and we didn’t take them.
“We could have been a lot more in front and there would have been no way back for Douglas, we missed goal chances too against Mallow.
“But we are still alive and it’s great to be looking forward to another two weeks to work and be building away and making a few small changes and get there."
However, he was under no illusions about what lies ahead and the improvement that will be necessary going into the last four.
“Without a doubt, we will be looking at that. But I’ll go back to the chances that we didn’t take, ordinarily, we’d take them but we did n’t.
”That to me sums us up, we were not clinical and if we were we’d have been out of sight, game over.
“But fair play to Douglas too. They hung in there and let’s be honest, at the last minute or two that game could have gone anyway.
“It was unfortunate that the injury to our keeper upset the rhythm of the game but that happens but, as I said, I am delighted to be in a semi-final.
“We are looking forward now from tonight to having a crack off Ross in a fortnight's time."