GARNISH goalkeeper and captain Ross Murphy emerged their hero following his penalty heroics which enabled his side to defeat Kilbrin in a Junior B county quarter-final at Macroom recently.
The two sides couldn’t be separated after extra-time which ensured penalties were required. The Garnish custodian saved a Kilbrin penalty in sudden death which ensured his side secured a dramatic championship win and a place in the last four.
The modest keeper was thrilled to play his part in the victory.
He said: “It was a dramatic win. There were no margins for error. It was a huge relief to save the penalty and help us secure a huge win.”
Garnish, who are based in the Beara division, made the decision to move down to the junior B grade in recent years due to decreasing playing numbers. Murphy said the club constantly punches above its weight.
“We are a small area. Our numbers in the last few years have not been great. We made the decision to drop down to the B grade and it is starting to pay off now. Morale is high in the club.
“We are training hard. We have a great bunch of lads who love playing for their club and representing their parish. We have players coming home from all parts of the country to train and play for the club. There is a great spirit in the club.”
The penalty hero had great sympathy for their beaten opponents who suffered the heartbreak of narrowly losing in a shoot-out following a great game.
“It is a very tough way for a team to exit the championship. It is very sweet coming out on top following a penalty shoot-out, but heartbreaking for the losing team. Kilbrin are a fine team.”
He made one save during the penalty shoot-out but it proved the pivotal moment in helping his side reach the semi-final stages of the county championship. The keeper said his match-winning heroics are still sinking in.
I had dived the other way, but I had left my trailing boot after me and luckily I got a touch to it. It was a great moment and feeling.
"It was a huge win and moment for the club. I had never been involved in a penalty shoo-tout previously. It is very nerve-racking. You just do your best and hope it turns out well.
“Thankfully it worked out well for us against Kilbrin.”
Garnish now proceed to the last four of the championship but are waiting on their semi-final opponents.
“We will keep tipping away. This win will give us great confidence going forward.
“It was a morale-boosting win.”