IN the aftermath of the final whistle at Páirc Uí Rinn last Sunday, Imokilly team boss Fergal Condon gathered his players in a huddle at the city end of the ground and spoke to them for about five minutes.
No doubt he impressed upon them how close a call they had received from Newcestown in the quarter-final of the Cork County SHC.
They had got home by the skin of their teeth, the bare minimum against the dogged West Corkmen and he was just relieved that they were still in business.
“I suppose injury time is an issue with Imokilly. We seem to leave teams back into the game at that late stage and we did it here again.
“We were seven points up going into injury time and you saw what happened, they got the two goals and suddenly we were in trouble.
“We were lucky, everybody knows Newcestown are a big, strong physical team and they come with everything and they brought their A game and ten percent with it.
“You would have to take your hat off to them but we were lucky here.’’
Was there maybe a feeling that when his side held such a considerable advantage with time running out that the job had already been completed?
“People might have been thinking that and leaving but we can’t do anything about that and I suppose we did make mistakes there at critical stages and allowed them in for those two goals.
“They were bad goals to give away and there’s no doubt, we have work to do. The other side of it is that this was our 11th championship game now unbeaten and we have been in these type of situations before.’’
Condon had seen some parts of UCC’s win over Sars and he is in no doubt that the task facing his team against them will be immense.
“If we play like we played here we will be wasting our time against them. Championship hurling is cut and thrust and maybe the fright we got here will benefit us.
“It showed that there are no easy games at this stage. This was championship hurling and the Newcestown crowd really got behind their team.
“I’ll be honest, UCC, I saw some of the game, not all of it but their skill levels are supreme and if we are not at it we will be in trouble.’’
Imokilly’s strength in depth was illustrated again when they lined out without some key players but that is the nature of divisional teams.
“Yes, we were missing a few Castlelyons fellows today and they are playing again next weekend. Seamus Harnedy has a game too with is club so we’ll see what happens.
“Look, we got a real fright here today and we know that. We were eight points up and nearly got caught.
“But winning by a small margin might be no bad thing for us because we know now going forward that we must work a bit harder over the next few weeks. We as a management realise that we won’t be at the races if we play like that again the next day.’’