Cork camogie: Fr O'Neill's bounced back from early loss to lift Nano Nagle Cup

Aghabullogue came up just short at Castle Road in terrible conditions on Saturday
Cork camogie: Fr O'Neill's bounced back from early loss to lift Nano Nagle Cup

Fr O'Neill's Sarah Harrington gets off her pass from Aghabullogue's Emma Flanagan and Niamh Barry Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

FR O’Neill’s manager Billy Harrington was drenched to the skin but smiling broadly after a superb effort from his side and a hard-earned victory over Aghabullogue.

The battling victory in terrible weather sent the Nano Nagle trophy for Cork intermediate camogie champions down east.

“They are absolutely fantastic girls, this is my second year involved with the team and to be honest it is a pleasure to be involved with them.

“They really worked so hard and it was not alone today as we carved out this win but all year they have been excellent and they really deserve this title.

“It has been a strange season with Covid restrictions and everything but we really got back moving in May and from then until today every single one of them gave everything in the quest of taking the title.”

Having lost out in their opening game to Blackrock, Harrington said revealed they didn’t panic.

In fact, it probably helped the players and panel focus on the standards needed to be set to get their hands on the intermediate title.

“We lost out to an excellent Blackrock side in the first game of championship by three points and on the day we were minus a few players through injury and in all fairness there was little between us.

“So we knuckled down and worked hard, this team have had roughly 80 training sessions and we played a lot of game in preparation for championship.

“We had some excellent game in Waterford against top-class opposition and all these game helped us build a good bond and more importantly got us match-fit.”

Mary Newman presents the Echo Player of the Match trophy to Fr O'Neill's Yvonne Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Mary Newman presents the Echo Player of the Match trophy to Fr O'Neill's Yvonne Murphy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Having played with the aid of the strong wind and driving rain in the opening half Fr O’Neill’s really had to work hard to protect their lead as Aghabullogue came out for the second half with the elements in their favour.

Their manager had huge faith in his charges and knew they would fight to the finish

“On a day like today it’s always a gamble: do you play with the wind and try to get ahead or do you close down shop and then go for it in the second half?

I’m always of the opinion go for it in the first half if you get the chance and then protect it if you are ahead.

“We really had to do that today but to their credit, every one of our girls stood up and were counted.

“They worked really hard to contain the strong Aghabullogue challenge.”

Losing such a tight game was tough to take for the Muskerry outfit, 2-6 to 0-11, but goals often win games and they certainly did at rain-soaked Castle Road.

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