A SIGNIFICANT week for Éire Óg got off to the perfect start as their hurlers secured their place in the Premier Intermediate Championship for next season by impressively defeating Youghal 3-21 to 3-11 in their relegation play-off in Caherlag last Saturday.
Shortly after full time, selector Paul Coakley was keen to pay tribute to his squad, and his full forward Lar Considine, who claimed 1-6 of his side’s total from open play, in particular, following that victory.
But the hope is now that the Ovens club’s footballers can follow their hurlers’ example as they look to claim the win over Newcestown in their own relegation play-off this Saturday which will see them remain at Premier Senior level.
“It’s huge,” began Coakley.
“These are a huge couple of weeks for Éire Óg. We have had some injuries - I’m not making any excuses or anything - but we have been down a few key players all year in both codes.
“But from a hurling perspective, it’s massive.
We have worked really hard over the last couple of years to get up to Premier Intermediate level and it would have been an awful shame to lose out today on that basis.
“That put hunger into the guys in terms of their approach to the game and we have another big game next weekend to stay up on the football side.
“There’s a high number of dual players and both codes are heavily dependent on a cohort of players.
“It’s great to get this win and face into the week ahead, if we turn up next weekend with the same attitude that they had today we will have every chance.
“We started very well and we focussed on that because in two of our group games we had started very poorly.
“So we were delighted with the start but we kind of took the foot off the pedal a little bit in the last ten minutes of the first half and they to be fair Youghal came into it then.
“We came back out after half time and we really got into it, we started ticking off a few scores so we were very happy and in reality, we were the stronger team in the second half, the score reflected that in the end.
“We were only a point up at half time having led well in the first half but the players themselves knew we were good enough to win it so the management hadn’t an awful lot to say at half time to change it.
“Lar was outstanding. I think he got a lot of our scores and he was really fresh.
“Lar at times has struggled with hamstring trouble but he was just bang on and it showed, he was outstanding. He was really strong."