McCarthy believes Rangers will cope without O'Rourke

November 12th, 2016 1:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

Big loss: Carbery Rangers' John O'Rourke will be missing for Sunday's Munster semi-final against The Nire as he's abroad on holidays.

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Carbery Rangers manager looks ahead to Sunday's Munster club semi-final 


 CARBERY Rangers manager Ronan McCarthy is hopeful that the strength of the club’s panel will stand to them in Sunday’s AIB Munster Club SFC semi-final against Waterford champions The Nire in Clonakilty on Sunday (2pm).

Having enjoyed a good win over Limerick’s Monaleen last Sunday week, Ross now attempt to reach a first provincial final at senior level, having claimed Munster titles at junior and intermediate in 2003 and ’05 respectively.

However, John O’Rourke, man-of-the-match in the county final win over Ballincollig, is unavailable due to pre-booked holidays – he will be available should they reach the decider – and Seamus Hayes will also be assessed before the game.

‘John’s a big loss, no question about it,’ says McCarthy, ‘but we knew so it’s not like someone pulling up the week of the game or whatever.’

‘Seamus Hayes is a doubt, he has been managing his hamstring since before the county semi-final, really.

‘We’ve managed him game to game and he has done fine, he had another 45 minutes against Monaleen but he’ll be a doubt, though we’ll give him every chance.

‘It will be a huge test of the panel. All year we’ve been talking about the strength of the panel and the lads who come in will probably have started championship games this year, so you’d be confident.’

In the quarter-final, Ross overcame Monaleen by 2-12 to 0-7, but McCarthy is hopeful of an improvement.

‘The last day, there were a couple of factors,’ he says.

‘Number one, we hadn’t seen Monaleen because they had played the day before the county final so there was an unknown with that as you’d like to see who you’ll be playing.

‘Then, having won the county for the first time, you’re not too sure how fellas will respond after the euphoria of winning. To be fair to guys, they got back to it fairly quickly after the game so physically they were fine but maybe they were mentally a bit drained.

‘This time, we would feel that we’re four weeks after the county final and we’re back into the run of things now. The hangover from the final is well gone at this stage and, obviously, The Nire played last week so we were able to go and watch that, so we’ve some idea of what to expect.’

Home comforts, relatively speaking, may also help, given the comparative travel required to get from Ross to Clonakilty compared to Limerick city. McCarthy is glad of the logistical ease, but at the same time he knows it won’t be the winning or losing of the game.

‘I don’t know if it’s a big advantage, but definitely, having travelled from West Cork to Limerick last week, you’re on the road a long time, it’s a long day.

‘With Clon, it’s local, there should be a good Ross crowd and it’s a step into the unknown for The Nire. We’ve played there already this year in the quarter-final against Valley Rovers.

‘Are they decisive factors? I don’t think so, but every little helps.’

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