St Michael's boss says they aren't concerned about record in finals

City club suffered disappointments in a series of finals over the last decade but are only looking ahead, with Mallow to come in two weeks
St Michael's boss says they aren't concerned about record in finals

St Michael's Billy Cain wins the ball from Doheny's Cathal O'Donovan during the Bon Secours Cork SAFC semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

ST MICHAEL’S manager Dave Egan sensed it was de ja vu time again when watching substitute Mark Drummond line up his decisive shot in their 1-14 to 0-15 extra-time win over Dohenys in the Bon Secours Senior A Football Championship semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh at the weekend.

“He hit the post and I was full sure it was going over to hit the other post because Mark has history of that,” the Offaly native recalled.

“In the intermediate final in 2015 the ball hit one post and ricocheted over to hit the other as well. We thought history was repeating.”

But, this time the ball nestled in the net to stretch Michael’s lead to four points with only five minutes’ extra time remaining.

And it still wasn’t over because the excellent Mark Buckley kicked three points for Dohenys to extend his tally to 0-10, but another substitute Eoin O’Donovan landed a critical point after setting up Drummond for his goal.

“We must have used the guts of 24 lads out there.

“We have a huge under-age structure and bringing the likes of Eoin, who won a minor and U21 championship, shows what talent we have.

“Mark is one of the club’s stalwarts and is a great bit of stuff. He took his chance very well, in fairness to him,” Egan added.

Michael’s bench made a difference and the products of recent county under-age triumphs are emerging.

“The young lads are a great addition. Some of them are after pushing the likes of Mark off the starting 15 and then we have his experience to come on.”

The manager also paid tribute to the role played by yet another summoned from the bench, Eric Hegarty.

I won’t go into his injury, but this time last week a lot of people were telling us he might not play football again this year and six days later he’s out kicking over the equaliser. That’s a lot of steel.

“I don’t know what to say about the man. He practically drags this club single-handedly and keeps everything together. Eric’s a brilliant man. He’s the spirit of St Michael.”

Egan was referring to the closing play in regulation time, three minutes into stoppage time, when Hegarty kept his cool to land the equalising free to level matters at 0-10 apiece.

Michael’s now meet Mallow in the final and Egan is looking forward not reflecting on the club’s record in finals.

St Michael's Eoghan Buckley kicks over a point against Dohenys. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
St Michael's Eoghan Buckley kicks over a point against Dohenys. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“I’m not looking back. I wasn’t around for any of those previous finals, so it doesn’t bother me.

“We have two weeks to prepare for the next performance. It’s going to be the same as any other game.

“It just happens to be in Páirc Uí Chaoimh again and we’re used to it. It’s just another game of football.

“There’s a wide range of emotions after a game like that. We had it, we lost it and we had it again.

“We showed great battling qualities and a bit of steel to come back.” 

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