GOOD TIMES for Newtownshandrum after they qualified for the semi-final of the Co-op Superstores PSHC for the first time since 2011 after recording a famous 1-23 to 0-23 win over Glen Rovers in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Friday.
At the outset of the championship, few would have expected them to make the final four, and after being drawn with county champions Midleton, as well Douglas and Kanturk, their task was a major one.
Manager Shane Naughton admitted that just getting out of the group was their primary goal.
“We’re absolutely thrilled. I suppose at the start of the year we didn’t set out to aim for a semi-final, we just had a clear target, it was to get out of the group. We saw the teams who were in with us, and we knew we’d a tough battle to get out of there.
"To get out on top then was an added bonus and lads built on that, and that energy that we had after beating Douglas in Mourneabbey, we made a promise to each other leaving that dressing room that we were going to bottle it and bring it with us the next day, so we’re thrilled.
“We’re not reliant on one or two players, and lads now know coming off the bench the massive impact that they can have. We’d to work hard on that as being a member of a panel is not easy when you don’t start.
"We’ve worked a lot on listening to how other teams get that right and brought that to our set-up here, because from 15 to 32, and I mean this honestly, any one of them can come on any day.
"They’ve different roles in different games – as the old saying goes ‘horses for courses’ – but by God in every game that they’ve come on in, they’ve lifted the thing when we’ve needed it the most.
Within that tremendous group effort, few shone brighter than Cormac O’Brien as the Cork panellist, better known as a back, hit 1-4 from centre-forward.
“Cormac is a quality player, and when you’re a player like him it doesn’t matter where you go on the field. We just felt that he brought that drive, and that running off the shoulder, and he got off to a dream start (with the goal) and that was our foundation, and we’re just thrilled for Cormac.”
There’s no doubt that if they can bottle their performance and spirit again from the weekend that they’ll be a match for anybody in the final four.