ST James’ shot-stopper Diarmuid O’Donovan heads into the 2019 Cork JAFC county final having yet to pick the ball out of the net. It's eight championship games, five in Carbery and three in the county, and no goal has been conceded.
That phenomenal record is testament to O’Donovan’s ability – as evidenced by two crucial saves in the semi-final victory over St Michael’s – and a disciplined St James defence.
‘I’m not going to take much credit for that as it is down to our backs’ ability to shut out opposing attacks and there have been very few shots on goal really,’ a modest Diarmuid O’Donovan told The Southern Star.
‘Our defenders work very hard but everyone works for each other. There have been times our backs have been against the wall this year but again, everyone just works so hard for one another and that’s what’s makes the difference.
‘There is no fear within this group as most have been playing junior football for over 16 or 17 years at this stage. We got together early last year and there has been a lot of physical training done. It was always different though and everything was with the ball. It has stood to us.
‘Playing in Páirc Uí Rinn won’t be that big a deal as most of us were involved in the 2005 junior B county final. A lot of the younger lads have played there for their schools as well. It is just another pitch at the end of the day.’
NO WAY THROUGH
Carbery JAFC Round 1: St James 0-7 St Oliver Plunkett’s 0-6
Carbery JAFC Round 3: St James 3-14 St Oliver Plunkett’s 0-8
Carbery JAFC quarter-final: St James 3-6 Tadhg MacCarthaigh 0-14
Carbery JAFC semi-final: St James 0-9 Argideen Rangers 0-8
Carbery JAFC final: St James 0-11 Ballinascarthy 0-9
Cork JAFC Round 1: St James 2-17 Cobh 0-2
Cork JAFC quarter-final: St James 1-11 Boherbue 0-12
Cork JAFC semi-final: St James 1-12 St Michael’s 0-9
PLAYED: 8. WON: 8. GOALS CONCEDED: 0