BY NOEL HORGAN
WHILE the outcome was never in doubt, and there was a sizeable gap between the teams at the finish, Carbery manager Charlie Vaughan was in upbeat mood as he reflected on the divisional side’s elimination from the county senior hurling championship by Killeagh last Sunday.
The main reason for that was he feared earlier in the week Carbery wouldn’t be able to fulfil the fixture, and he was very pleased that they managed to do that much at least.
‘I said in The Southern Star last week that we didn’t know if we’d be able to field a team, because we played a challenge game against Courcey Rovers on Tuesday night, and only ten players showed up, so we had to borrow five from Courceys to make up the 15,’ Vaughan explained.
‘I honestly felt we’d have to concede the game to Killeagh, but we contacted players on the phone and called to houses during the week, and we were very pleased with the response we got,’ he revealed.
‘We assembled as good a panel as we could have hoped for tonight, although we had a few late withdrawals due to injury, including David Kiely and Ted Lordan, who would have been key players for us.
‘We could have done with the Clon and Bal players as well, who were unavailable because of their involvement in the South-West junior final (this weekend), as five or six of them started in our previous game against Na Piarsaigh.
‘Still, we thought we’d run Killeagh a lot closer with the panel we had, we were hoping to get within three or four points of them, and maybe even pull off a surprise win.
‘Unfortunately, Killeagh got two early goals which killed us, and they were obviously the better team on the night, but I don’t think the lads disgraced themselves, because we got some great scores, especially in the second half.’
Vaughan believes there is a future for Carbery hurling, stating it’s important for players from junior and intermediate clubs to get a chance to perform at senior level.
‘If you can’t play for Cork, the next best thing is to play senior hurling with the divisional team, and we had a few players making their debut in the top grade tonight,’ the Carbery boss said.
‘There are a lot of other lads coming through, and this is all about keeping it going for the next generation.
‘As I’ve said, we didn’t disgrace ourselves against Killeagh, the lads were battling as hard at the end as they were at the start, and I don’t think the performance was as bad as the scoreline suggests.
‘They are inside in the dressing-room now, and their heads aren’t down, because they know they were beaten by a better team, but they gave it their all, which is the most important thing.’
Vaughan paid tribute to his colleagues on the backroom team for their commitment, but he said it was disappointing that the big effort they put in was negated to a certain extent by the treatment Carbery received from the county board.
‘You had the Carbery footballers playing out in Douglas today, and three or four of their players joined us for this match,’ he said.
‘To have both Carbery teams playing on the same day is absolutely ridiculous, and you’d have to wonder why the board did that to us.
‘It’s very discouraging, to put it mildly, but we’ll keep fighting, because we’re all proud Carbery men,’ he said.