UCC put forward a strong case for inclusion among the leading contenders for the Cork County SHC after taking care of the challenge of a very fancied Sarsfields team in the quarter-final last Sunday.
They now find themselves pitted against Imokilly in the last four and in that game team manager Martin “Gacchie” Walsh will be up against his own division of Imokilly.
He was delighted with the victory.
“It was a good win. We were very strong in the second-half. To be fair, we had strong personalities to bring on too, Mark Coleman was sick all the week and we just didn’t want to start him, Michael Breen had been injured and then we had Paddy O’Loughlin who was with Limerick this year.
“They are three big subs to be bringing on. We had a lot of the gang back as well who were not there the last day, Sean O’Donoghue, Darragh Fitz. We are good and strong and we are delighted for the college to be in a semi-final now.”
With UCC there is always another challenge, getting players together who have club commitments and who might even have had a game the day before or the morning of a game.
“To be fair and I give great credit to everyone, the personnel involved, their clubs. Shane Conway played yesterday in the Kerry championship, there were fellows who had league games earlier, they have to play with their clubs.
“But there is great commitment there, great commitment to the cause and I know there are different feelings on the college and all that and that’s bound to hurt them and I understand all that too. I know everything starts in the club and finishes in the club but we are a bit of a club too.
“The Kearneys, the Sullivans from Sars, they give fantastic commitment to the club and again today but they were great players too for UCC.
“We appreciate that. They had their day last year, we got ours today.”
And they are enjoying the journey they are now on.
“We are definitely enjoying where we are now, the main thing with college is to try and get the Fitzgibbon going and when the Freshers come in, get them going too. The big thing is trying to keep them hurling when they are in college, they might lose their way if they are not doing this.
“They will get the experience of playing now in a county semi-final. Take Charlie Terry there, he’s playing senior with UCC, would he get on the Imokilly team?
“We have a fellow, Kevin Moynihan from Russell Rovers, he’s training with us, he’s enjoying the outing.
“We had Shane Conway out there today. If I was Cork I’d be trying to get him a job in Cork and get him involved with the county.
“There’s a lot of Imokilly players in the next match who came through the ranks with us. I was involved with them for a while, I’d be a staunch Imokilly man and at the end of the day we are all hurling men.
“But for the hour you must back the horse that you are on and we want to provide stuff for Cork as well.’’