FROM the day he was appointed team boss of Imokilly, Fergal Condon set his sights on winning back the senior hurling trophy.
The potential was there, not always realised, but Condon and his management team set about getting the house firmly in order.
His reward came yesterday against Blackrock, the division's first title since 1998 and third overall, and he was one proudest people afterwards as he reflected on the proceedings.
“It’s sheer delight,” he said. “I am thrilled for everybody associated with the team. First and foremost, of course, it was all down to the players and it was they who had to do all the hard work.
“We had a great backroom team too, great experience everywhere. Jimmy Smiddy and Derek Barrett were players when we last won it, Conor Coleman, our physio, put in a massive effort too.
“The medics, Ciaran McGann, our logistics officer, and the East Cork board, everybody put in the work and support.
“When we spoke last week I mentioned that we had given away some sloppy goals in some games and I asked the lads there what would happen if we didn’t concede any and the answer to that is that we are county champions.
“We did it a bit harder today, Blackrock are a huge club with great tradition and they were never going to go away, that tradition would not leave them.
“We got the goal there right at the end from Brian Mulcahy and we got three goals in total and I suppose that was the difference.”
Condon admitted Seamus Harnedy’s goal after half-time was crucial.
“Definitely,” he said. “Good forwards will get those scores and there was nobody better that Seamie to put it way when it went to him.
“”I am delighted for him to captain Imokilly and go up those steps to get the cup.
“We have players from clubs from all over East Cork and the place is a nursery for Cork hurling.
“We all know what can happen when a division like ours is strong. We have fantastic hurlers in that dressing-room.
“Denis Ring is the new Cork U21 manager, John Meyler at senior, and surely be to god they’ll have a look at a lot of those players.”