Ruairí Hourihane, the Kilmacabea centre back, was named man-of-the-match for the final and a dream that had lasted eight years had come true at last for the delighted Kilmac native, writes Tom Lyons
‘I CAN’T believe it, this is what I came back for and I can’t take it in,’ said an absolutely delighted Ruari Hourihane.
‘I spent eight years in London dreaming about winning a West Cork junior A medal with Kilmac. I watched the lads winning two and thought I’d never see the day. It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of travelling, a lot of stress but it’s all worth it.
‘Every single player on the team put in an absolute shift. That first half, Clive got two points from wing back. We worked hard, worked as a unit, closed off the half back line, fierce determination. We had a good lead at half time, but there was a lot of hard work and hard grafting to be done in the second half against the wind.
‘It definitely helps when all fifteen players are working their backs off for the team. I’m absolutely delighted for the whole team. It was my first final, my first medal and I was going to enjoy it whatever had to be done.’
Hourihane had nothing but praise for the team management that had been put in place this season to win back the Mick Mccarthy Cup.
‘After every game, Kevin was telling us what we did right and what we did wrong, how to avoid the same mistakes, how to improve for the next day,’ said Hourihane. ‘This win today has taken a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication by the players and they showed fierce determination out there.
‘It was every player for the team today, that’s the spirit Kevin has instilled in this team. Today, it’s all about the players, the management, the families, it’s their day.’
Hourihane wasn’t worrying about the county championship after Sunday’s game as he celebrated with his team mates and family, but he was a little worried that he had neglected to tell his partner, who minds the house and family in Galway while he makes the regular trek back to West Cork to play football that the campaign isn’t quite over yet.
‘As regards the county, I haven’t told my partner yet that there’s actually a county in this, that there’s more road to travel, more games to play,’ admitted Hourihane. ’I’ll have to get another few weeks off from her now. She’s here today cheering us on and I couldn’t have done this without her support. This medal is for her as much as me, and for the little one. They’ve been super and, hopefully, we can add that county medal as well. I’m over the moon, hard to believe, a dream come true at last.’