IMOKILLY manager Ciarán Cronin was pleased to have guided his side back to the Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC quarter-finals thanks to Sunday evening’s impressive win over Seandún at Páirc Uí Rinn.
County champions in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the East Cork divisional side lost to UCC in the final of the divisions and colleges section last year but gained revenge at the semi-final stage on Tuesday night and secured their route back to the championship proper as the city side were seen off on a 4-36 to 0-16 scoreline.
“There was a bit of a mission to regain our status,” Cronin said.
“We wanted to get back into that county quarter-final again, because we’ve some serious talent there in East Cork in the lower levels.
“It’s about giving them the right avenue to show off their talents and long may it continue, hopefully.
"There are some big games coming up, so trying to get access to them and trying to get our house in order will be a challenge.
“But, look, it’s a great headache to have, it’s one we’re probably used to over the last few years. It’s good to be back in a county quarter-final again.”
While Imokilly were strong favourites after beating UCC, Cronin knew there was no room for complacency against a Seandún team that had beaten Muskerry. He was relieved that there was none, with Imokilly having 13 different scorers.
“These games, usually we’re playing them in March and they always are potential banana-skins,” he said.
“You don’t have any form going into them. You’re looking at players playing club and you have them then on a Monday night to go over it.
“We’re glad we got through these two games, we’ll sit down and reassess again. They’re all playing big games next Saturday with their clubs now again.”
And, while Séamus Harnedy, Kieran Histon, Ciarán Joyce and Anthony Spillane were absent, Cronin hopes to have them back for the quarter-final in just under three weeks.
“Hopefully,” he said.
“They’re all just niggly injuries and a few lads are out sick but that is the season we’re in. You are always going to be missing a few. Other than that, nothing major. Hopefully a few weeks will sort all them out.”
His opposite number, Seandún manager Paul McCarthy, had no complaints about the outcome but felt aggrieved that some panellists had to play city junior championship on Sunday morning.
“We are proud of the lads who put their hand up to represent the division,” he said, but we were badly let down by the board.
“There was a junior A game this morning and we asked for it off. There was another yesterday.
"The lads, their heads dropped because we were missing Cian McCarthy and Ronan Harrington. Robbie Lynch was out injured.
“All we were looking for was one day to put the matches off. The board didn’t even respond to us. We are throwing our hat at it now, we can’t do anymore."