Luke O'Farrell: Conor Lehane is in the top five hurlers in the country

Midleton veteran pays tribute to their captain for letting his hurling do the talking after being dropped by Cork
Luke O'Farrell: Conor Lehane is in the top five hurlers in the country

Conor Lehane of Midleton during the PSHC win over Glen Rovers at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

OF the Midleton side that started the 2013 county SHC final win over Sarsfields, four players saw action yesterday.

Along with Paul Haughney and Séamus O’Farrell, Luke O’Farrell and Conor Lehane remain key members of the Magpies attack and Luke hailed the impact of his colleague and captain, who scored 13 points.

“Everybody knows now at this stage I think, Conor loves a county final!” O’Farrell laughed.

“The other thing about Conor, we all know it – he’s not in the top five players in the county, he’s in the top five players in the country.

“He’s put his own marker down there today, he left his hurling do the talking. Everybody knows that.”

While Lehane was left off the Cork squad this year, it meant that Midleton had more access to him for the best part of a decade, which O’Farrell felt was a big benefit.

“It definitely helped,” he said.

“Seán [O’Leary Hayes] was the only one on the Cork panel this year and we’ve seen over the years that it is definitely hard to get that momentum going when your Cork players are away and coming in and out.

“It’s absolutely massive having a full squad, or 95 percent of us, there for the whole year.”

The impact of psychologist Jennifer Hayes was also a factor in Midleton edging affairs, especially in not panicking after a nine-point lead had been wiped out by Glen Rovers.

“I think that was a big factor for us this year,” O’Farrell said.
We’ve been in tight battles before and maybe not come out the right side. We worked a lot on that and it keeps you calmer when you’re in those moments where everybody’s going crazy.

“It helps you to stay a bit more level-headed.”

Luke O'Farrell of Midleton in action against David Dooling of Glenn Rovers. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Luke O'Farrell of Midleton in action against David Dooling of Glenn Rovers. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Showing resolve was also important after the defeat to Sarsfields in the group stages, but O’Farrell felt that the team put any setbacks to good use.

“We got two hammerings this year,” he said.

“We played the Cork U20s the week of the All-Ireland hurling and got an absolute clipping. We got a clipping off Sars and they were probably the two best things to happen to us all year.

“They were wake-up calls but we learned and dusted ourselves down and I definitely think we improved both times.”


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