Paul McCarthy’s time in charge of Inniscarra came to an end with their sole championship defeat of the year, but it remains a campaign to be proud of.
While the third-quarter dominance of Roscrea swung the Munster Club IHC semi-final their way, Inniscarra’s resilience was shown with a pair of injury-time goals from Jerry Roche and Seán O’Donoghue and, as he departs the Mid-Cork club, McCarthy takes the memories of their never-say-die attitude.
“Absolutely, yeah,” he said.
“Obviously, they’re all distraught in the dressing room but pride is probably a big word used in there.
“Okay, we lost to the better team and hats off to them, we congratulated them coming off the field. They move on but we’re still Cork county champions and we’re hugely proud of that.
“This was a step too far. We had our chances and we were ahead by a few – they came back and they ground it out and pushed on past us and fair play to them.
“We’ve no excuses, no regrets – the game became close again at the end and that’s down to the lads, that’s what they’ve been doing all year. It’s nothing new, we didn’t expect anything else.”
Colm Casey’s goal was central to Inniscarra going in at half-time with a two-point lead, having competed well in the opening half.
However, Roscrea operated in the top tier in Tipperary in 2021 and the championship to which they dropped, the Séamus Ó Riain Cup, was redesignated premier intermediate, meaning that the county was putting forward its second-tier winners for the Munster intermediate competition. That experience of playing at a higher grade ultimately stood to them.
“We started well enough,” McCarthy said.
“I think we were the better team in the first half but they were always going to come back at us. They’re second-tier winners here in Tipp and we’re third-tier winners – they have that bit of quality and they responded and fair play to them.
“They moved the ball very well and were very well-coached.”
Next year, Inniscarra will be in Cork’s second tier, hoping to learn from this game and put the lessons to good use. McCarthy won’t be on that next part of the journey with them but he is optimistic as to what the future holds for the Muskerry outfit.
“I’m moving on from Inniscarra,” he said, “but the club are moving on to senior A hurling.
“It’s fantastic, it’s what we wanted at the start of the year. That was our target and we have that.
“There are some good young lads in there and there are more coming, so it’s great for the club to be senior hurling next year.”