LEVEL after 60 minutes and again after 80 in Saturday’s county JAFC semi-final against Erin’s Own, it’s little wonder that Kilmacabea manager Kevin O’Driscoll has mixed feelings as to whether or not his team had a lucky escape or they should have won.
Late points from Damien Gore, Martin Collins and Joseph Collins ensured that the Carbery champions earned a 1-12 each draw, though they perhaps should have won the game in normal time, Shane Murphy levelling in the 64th minute.
It’s round two in Brinny on Saturday at 4pm and O’Driscoll is raring to go once more.
‘You’d be disappointed not to have won it in normal time,’ he says, ‘but then the overall feeling is relief after coming from three points down, the lads showed great character.
‘Senior hurling clubs like Erin’s Own always get better with more football games and they had played Belgooly and a good Kilmurry team since our last match against White’s Cross, so they had momentum.
‘We definitely didn’t take them for granted, they’re a strong and physical team and we knew that we’d be up against it. Divisional champions are always going to be tough to beat.’
Trailing by three points with time running out, there must surely have been a temptation to go for goals, but the Kilmacs trusted their ability to work point-scoring chances.
‘Definitely, they showed great composure,’ O’Driscoll says.
‘They could have gone for goals early and snatched at chances but they worked the ball into scoring areas and got the three we needed.
‘That comes with experience – the Collins brothers are young but they have a lot of junior football under their belts.
‘Guys could have taken potshots but there was good patience shown. They had faith and trust in each other. It’s something we work hard on in training and it came off when we needed it.’
O’Driscoll reports that Kilmacabea have a few knocks and bruises, but ‘nothing that would keep a fella out’. The team had a pool session in Dunmanway on Sunday and have trained well this week.
Now, the hope is that the team can repay their large support by giving them a day out in Páirc Uí Rinn.
‘It was really noticeable last Saturday,’ he says.