NA Piarsaigh manager Stephen O'Sullivan was understandably delighted with Sunday's opening round Cork SHC win over Newtownshandrum.
There was a lot of disappointment after last year, losing their first two fixtures. They ended up defeating, Newcestown in a relegation play-off. They got nothing easy from Newtownshandrum, but they pulled away in stoppage time to record an important two-point victory.
"It means a lot. Last year we gave youth a chance and we let ourselves down. We didn't let ourselves down too much, we only lost by a puck of a ball. But that is the difference this year. The young lads have matured a bit. Last year we lost to Douglas by a goal, it was a draw with a few minutes to go. It was the same against Ballymartle, we got caught at the end. Today we are the ones pulling away. It fells an awful lot better being on the other side of it.
"This was a great game, we needed the win after our results last year. We needed a tough game. That is exactly what you get off Newtownshandrum. They are a great club, and have good players. But our fellas dug deep there at the end, especially our captain Eoin Moynihan.
"He was under pressure with three long-range frees. Some of our young fellas stood up - Dayne Lee, Padraig Guest, they are U21s. They took the belts and they took the punishment. They got some excellent scores. Even some of our older fellas like Padraig Gould at the end putting one over the bar."
Of all the senior hurling games last weekend, this one was hard to call as both were capable of victory. As it turned out, the teams were level 12 times.
"They were two evenly matched teams. Nobody could pick a winner. It is good for Cork hurling. Last week created a bit of a buzz (Cork defeating Tipperary). We have a lot of people here today, more than maybe both of our matches combined last year. If a game is that open, people will come out and watch it and to see fellas giving it their all for their clubs.
"We struggled at the start, in the league, so to score 1-20 and Newtownshandrum to get 1-18 is tremendous scoring. We played Midleton a few weeks ago and we scored 1-21. So we would be happy about that."
Next up for Na Piarsaigh is Carbery. The divisional side caused a surprise against Avondhu.
"Any team that put Avondhu to the sword, we know we will be up against it. They scored 2-23. But what we needed today was the win, and a bit of momentum. If we can win the next day, it sets us up for a good year, but we are under no illusions. We would also be hoping to have Craig Hanifin and Evan Sheehan coming back into the panel. They are both Cork minors but we didn't include them today as they are preparing to do their Leaving Cert."