MIDLETON gained a measure of compensation for their defeat in last season’s Cork County SHC semi-final when they defeated their East Cork rivals Erin’s Own in Carrigtwohill last Sunday.
Extra-time was required to settle the issue but it was a very pleasing win for Midleton, according to selector Ger Fitzgerald.
“It was an enjoyable afternoon, there was some great hurling out there.
"We did leave in a couple of softish goals that we would not be happy with but I have to say that both teams showed a tremendous attitude.
“We were very pleased to come out on top and it was a great match for us.’’
It was not a knockout game and that may have led to what was a very open game with plenty of scores.
Fitzgerald did not have the answer when that question was posed, would it have been as open if it was knockout.
“Good question, I don’t know but it did not look like it was not a knockout game and we certainly wanted to win it and the Erin’s Own reaction suggested that they wanted to win it too.
“One way or the other, it was a great game of hurling’’.
Midleton lined out without Conor Lehane and it must have been a plus to have come through despite the absence of their star player.
“Firstly, both teams will take a lot from it, that game was worth 15 training sessions and the extra-time will be massive for both teams and both teams are still in the championship.
“Conor had a serious injury, the advice was that he could not play so we followed that and he is being treated by Declan O’Sullivan for Cork, who is a top man in his field.
“ I just hope he won’t be rushed back for the Munster final if he’s not ready, that’s not a knockout game either for Cork.
“As long as there’s a sensible approach there’s no problem at all but it was disappointing to be without him but that’s part of the game.’’
Fitzgerald was delighted with the effort of the players in his absence.
“All the players stepped up, that’s the challenge, they have to man up and give that bit more extra and they all did that and it was great.’’
Meanwhile, Erin’s Own boss Martin Bowen had no real complaints at the outcome.
“No, to be honest. I suppose we missed a few goal chances there in the first-half but I thought that Midleton were that bit better than us today.
“They were a bit sharper, their forwards got the scores but, overall, it was a good game and it could have gone either way.
“For us now, it’s a case of getting back on the horse and driving on again.
"We dug deep there today at times, came back well from being a good bit down but that’s the character of the side.
“We were the same last year, this team is never beaten and there’s fierce heart and determination.
“They’ll keep going all the time even when things are going against them.
"We had a fantastic run last year but we know it won’t be easy to get back there again but we’ll give it a right go.’’