WEATHER-WISE, a very bad one at Páirc Uí Rinn last Saturday night but a very good one for the hurlers of Blackrock.
They reached the semi-final of the Cork County SHC for the first time in a number of years by beating Newcestown and had had generous contributors at various stages throughout the match.
Shane O’Keeffe fired over a few crucial points for the city team on a night when scoring wasn’t easy and he was delighted to have been able to contribute to the victory which sets up a clash with Na Piarsaigh on Sunday week.
“We are delighted with the win, it has been a while since we were last involved in a championship game so it was hard to know how things were going to go coming down here tonight.
“The conditions out there were very tough for both teams and I suppose that is the way it turned out, into a battle and we are just delighted and relieved to have got the result.
“There was just the puck of a ball in it there at the end but a few more scores just went over for us.
“The goal that we got was important on a night like that so it’s good now to be looking forward to playing in a semi-final.’’
The stylish young Rockies player believed that conditions were very draining but he believed they coped well.
“Maybe we coped that bit better with the underfoot conditions, it was tough going I’ll tell you and it was a challenge.’’ He tried to play down his own contribution to the final tally.
“Look, I was able to get free there a few times and got a few points but it was a team effort mostly out there.
“We have a young team and getting through to a semi-final is more progress for us.
“The aim this year was to go further. We got to the quarter-final again last season so it’s great now to be in a semi-final.
“Hopefully, winning a match like this will stand to us in the semi-final. Coming out of a match that close was vital for this team.
“Newcestown had us under pressure but we got the win and that was the aim going in.
“We have football now next with St Michael’s and there will be seven or eight of us involved with that.
“It’s all go at the moment but we are enjoying it and that’s what it is about.’’
Blackrock were last successful back in 2002 and their story now is very much a case of gaining that extra bit of confidence that could make all the difference when the harder questions will surely be put by Na Piarsaigh in the semi-final.