SHANE RONAYNE has been the mastermind behind Mourneabbey’s success and he has now guided them to seven Cork and Munster titles and two All-Ireland crowns over the last eight years.
They are into the All-Ireland semi-final in the new year and, like all involved, he was delighted to get over the line in Mallow.
“It was incredibly hard to play football out there, driving wind and rain, but still I thought we played some great football at times. Our handwork and the quick play was outstanding and we are delighted to get out of here with a win.
“We knew we were hot favourites coming into the game and that can be a difficult position at times, but I’m delighted with the application of the girls, their work rate, and we got some unbelievable scores I thought.”
Ronayne said it was important to have won the toss and try to put up a big score and put the pressure on Aherlow.
“We had to make hay while the sun shines as the saying goes, even though it wasn’t today. But with those conditions, you had to put up a big score. It was so hard to play into it, you couldn’t even hand pass against it.
“But we got some great scores and could have had a few more were it not for some great saves by their keeper. We are thrilled with our performance level.
“Last week was another big game and to come in again and raise the levels was very hard because a lot of physical and emotional effort went into the semi-final against Ballymacarbry and we have had some great battles with them over the last few years.
“So it was very hard to get them physically and mentally ready for the final in the short space of time.
“At half-time we told them they had to run the ball in the second half and close hand passes and that’s exactly what they did and we managed to get a brilliant goal from Fitzy [Laura Fitzgerald]. Fitzy is probably one of the best finishers in the game and to get three in the final and semi-final is a great return.
“It has been a long tough year for everybody and they can enjoy themselves now over Christmas. They’ll stay safe and we can look forward to the All-Ireland semi-final in early January.”