RONAN Curran soldiered long and hard for St Finbarr’s without any great success where silverware was concerned but now he’s behind the white line in his first year in charge in the old club.
Last Saturday he oversaw a huge victory over Douglas in the third-round of the Cork County SHC and he was delighted afterwards with how his players had performed.
“It’s hard really to put it into words, I suppose heart, work-rate and a great team bond.
“It’s a great day for us. I suppose that we were written off really for the last few weeks after the Killeagh game when we didn’t perform at our best.
“We had a lot of wides that day down in Midleton but our performance was a bit scattered and we always seem to play that bit better when we are underdogs.
“The lads worked hard in training over the past couple of weeks, we saw that and we knew coming in today that we had a chance despite being written off by many."
The former star admitted that one of his best players, Cork’s best in the All-Ireland U21 final, Conor Cahalane was very sick coming into the game and eventually had to be replaced.
“We were dealt a blow with Conor’s illness, he had some sort of a virus but he still chipped in with two or three and what an effort that was from him.
“He spent the last few days in bed but that’s the Cahalanes for you. He emptied everything out there while he was there as did everybody else and, look, they are a great bunch of lads but at the end of the day, it’s only one game.
“Douglas are a good team, they threw everything at us there in the end and we just held our nerve and held out and it’s on to the next game now.’’
Curran admitted that the old spirit of the Barrs was seen out on the pitch.
“Yes, to be fair to these lads, they have great heart. We were dealt a very hard blow last year when we put it up to the Glen and lost in the last seconds with a sucker punch right at the end of the game.
“That was in their heads there I’d say in the last few minutes here after they had battled so hard for the game throughout.
“They were brilliant. We have some good leaders in there, some good younger players too and there’s a good mix in the team overall.
“Look, we’ll be underdogs again the next day no matter who we will be playing whether it’s Blackrock or Ballymartle.
“But we’ll go again, give it everything again and see how things go.’’
They led by six points at the break, so what was the message at that juncture?
“We played with a nice breeze in the first-half and I suppose the message was, let’s not throw it away like last year.
“Just give it everything we had, leave it all on the pitch, we have a good panel and it’s hard to pick a team.
“We have five or six lads battling for places and we knew our bench would strengthen things. James Goggin came on, got a great score, Bill Beckett won a nice, few balls and we are delighted with how it has worked out."