Imokilly gearing up for their first county hurling final since 2001

Imokilly gearing up for their first county hurling final since 2001
Imokilly's Barra O'Tuama and Mark O'Keeffe after the win over Sars. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

IMOKILLY team boss Fergal Condon was calm and composed last Saturday night at Páirc Uí Rinn after he had seen his team bridge a 16-year gap to reach the Cork County SHC final.

Imokilly were back-to-back champions in 1997 and ‘98, and runners-up to Blackrock in 2001, and now they will believe that their time has come again.

The Rockies, of course, will think along similar lines but for now, Condon could reflect on a job well done against Sarsfields.

“Absolutely delighted, we put up 4-17 tonight and that is very good scoring. I thought that our big fellows were very good tonight and that made a huge difference.

“Seamie Harnedy, Paudie, Brian Lawton, they were outstanding but it was a team effort and we are delighted to be looking forward now to a county final next Sunday.

“We did concede a few poor goals again but I suppose the end result is everything and we were in a strong position there at the end and I think that we deserved the win."

The divisional side had to depend on a late equaliser in the drawn game to secure the replay after they seemed to be in the driving seat and there might have been a worry that they had left it behind them that day in Páirc Uí Chaoimh? Condon didn’t think so.

“To be honest, no. You have to back the players and we have a good outfit and you could see the depth in our bench there when we brought in a few lads.

“We have been able to do that all season and the squad is very important.

“We are in the final now, that was our objective since the start of the year and we have a lot done over the past few months.’’ 

Imokilly manager Fergal Condon (right) and selector Sean Harnedy. Picture: Eddie O’Hare
Imokilly manager Fergal Condon (right) and selector Sean Harnedy. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Condon believed that staying on Sars coat tails early in the game was very important.

“Yes, they went two points up there early on but they never got ahead by more than that. That was important from our viewpoint.

“Sars did a lot of damage to us last week around the middle of the field and we addressed that and I thought young Ger Millerick was outstanding for us tonight.

“Brian Lawton too, what a player. He got some great scores for us and Seamie Harnedy got some big scores for us when we needed them most.

”Paudie too, he did the same. The work-rate of the whole team was unbelievable and next week now we must go out and try and do the same against Blackrock.

“I think that we were a couple of percentage points better overall as a team tonight and when we play like that we are very hard to beat.

“As I said, we play like a club team now because we have a mountain of work done and they got their just reward."

The one negative on the night, the concession of too many goals.

“Yes, you cannot be conceding goals like some that we did here but we’ll assess that as well. Tonight was all about winning and getting into the final and tomorrow we’ll look back at everything and then prepare for the Rockies.

“I know that we are now playing week after week but we just want to get on with it. If we had lost here we’d be going home and the year would be done.’’ 

And a final word on their East Cork rivals.

“Sars are a great club, they made us earn it over the two games but it’s our night. They had great days and they will again.’’

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