PSHC: St Finbarr's manager Ger Cunningham praises group effort

"So many people who have contributed in no uncertain terms – not just today but all over the years."
PSHC: St Finbarr's manager Ger Cunningham praises group effort

St Finbarr's manager Ger Cunningham and players on the sideline await the final whistle in the Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC final against Blackrock at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Larry Cummins

Victorious St Finbarr’s manager Ger Cunningham paid tribute to the huge collective effort that brought the Seán Óg Murphy Cup back to Togher for the first time in nearly three decades.

The former Cork goalkeeper won six county SHC medals between the sticks and now joins the ranks of those to have won the title as a player and a manager, while the victory goes along his achievement in winning the 2009 Waterford championship with Ballygunner.

He felt that the Barrs players did well to play the game rather than the occasion.

“That was the plan,” he said.

“There’s always noise around these occasions – county finals are fantastic occasions with great publicity. The fact that it was a city rivalry and ourselves and Blackrock hadn’t played in a city final in 40 years made it that bit extra-special.

“We’ve been away from this scene for a long time and it’s great to see the kids, a new generation of Barrs supporters, and the older generation – some players I played with myself were outside, absolutely roaring crying and it means so much to them.

“We’re delighted for the younger fellas who have come through but also the older fellas who have been fantastic for the club over a number of years.

“For them to go out and perform on the big day is absolutely brilliant. I’m delighted for so many people, I don’t want to name names, but so many people who have contributed in no uncertain terms – not just today but all over the years.

“Ronan Curran last year and people who have given massive time, I’m just so thrilled for everybody.”

The second-goals, as Conor Cahalane set up Brian Hayes for the first and then netted one of his own from Ethan Twomey’s pass, were ultimately of huge importance.

“We didn’t get those runs in the first half but in the second half it opened up for him,” Cunningham said.

“He’s been a revelation for us this year, he’s been fantastic. I think his hurling has gone to a new level. The vision to see that pass over to Brian was brilliant.

“There was only a puck of a ball in it up to half-time, “then we got the break with the goal and I think we settled down into defending that lead for a bit, holding our shape, and then we got the other goal afterwards.

“It was a fantastic performance, the lads showed loads of character. It wasn’t an easy day to play, but it was great to have that monkey off our back after 29 years.”

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