JAHC final replay: Erin's Own and Kilshannig looking for the marginal gains

“It’s 50-50 now again, it’s great to be there and to have a second shot at it."
JAHC final replay: Erin's Own and Kilshannig looking for the marginal gains

Erin's Own's Mark Collins is tackled by Kilshannig's Conor Murphy and Brian Guerin during the Co-op SuperStores Cork JAHC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last month. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The drawn Co-op SuperStores Cork JAHC final last Sunday week was a classic example of a game that could have gone either way.

With time almost up, Kilshannig led by 0-15 to 0-14 only for Tom Foley to level for Erin’s Own before Ian O’Mahony put the Glounthaune side in front. There was time for Kilshannig to tie the game again, though, with Paddy Walsh’s free ensuring a second day out.

Erin’s Own manager Eoghan O’Connor is glad of the opportunity to go again at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday (4pm).

“We very happy to have a second chance,” he says.

“Any game that ends in a draw, you’d always look at the ‘ifs’, ‘buts’ and ‘ands’. You see all the places where you could have won the game and all the places you could have lost the game.

“When you get a second chance, you say, ‘It’s half-time and we’ll go again.’”

The first game was even all the way through and the same is expected for the second meeting. One difference is the venue, but the flipside of this being at the Boreenmanna Road venue rather than Páirc Uí Chaoimh means that it’s more about the game and less about the occasion.

“Any of the fear of that is out of the way now,” O’Connor says, “and Páirc Uí Rinn will be a different occasion to Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“It was obviously an occasion for both teams but that’s gone for both of them now for the replay.

“We were very happy with our players. I thought that they put a great effort in, they were very honest. There was no player who didn’t perform – they all gave it their best shot and, after that, you ask no more of guys.”

A 14-day turnaround since the drawn match is certainly welcome for Erin’s Own, O’Connor acknowledges – but, given that Kilshannig, who won the Bons Secours Hospital Cork IAFC in October, a break was no bad thing for them, either.

“The drawn game was our third week in a row,” he says.

“That maybe took a bit of a toll on us, but then again, Kilshannig have come through a very long season, so we would little to complain about!

“This time of year, when you’ve playing a lot of games in a short space of time, you’re going to have a few niggles but nothing that’s of any major concern at this stage.”

Ultimately, it’s likely to be another close game with little to separate the sides. Erin’s Own will be optimistic, but so will Kilshannig, O’Connor expects.

“They’ll feel exactly the same as we do,” he says.

“It’s 50-50 now again, it’s great to be there and to have a second shot at it.

“It’s great development for the younger players and it’s a great reward for the older players.

“Let’s see where Sunday takes us but the bottom line for me, is that they’re all able to get out of bed Monday morning.”

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