ANALYSIS BY TOM LYONS
1 Leaders stood up:
From the throw-in, the leaders on this Kilmacabea team stood up and were counted. Ruairí Hourihane gave a virtual class in attacking centre back play that was rewarded with the man-of the match award. Damien Gore fought like a tiger for every ball and scored one of his points with three Ross defenders hanging off him; pure determination. Martin Collins worked like a Trojan at midfield, especially in the second half when most needed, while Niall Hayes at full back, Ian Jennings at centre forward and wing backs, Clive Sweetnam and Donncha McCarthy all stood out. This was a team full of generals.
2 Focus and determination:
Kilmacabea’s focus on getting the job done, winning back the Mick McCarthy Cup, was immense. They blitzed Rangers in the second quarter when they needed to build up a lead with the gale and then, they played controlled, focused football against the gale in the second half. Credit the team mentors, especially manager Kevin O’Driscoll and trainer David O’Donovan, with having the team in prime psychological as well as physical condition. Nothing was taken for granted for this final and the opposition was treated with the greatest of respect.
3 Fifteen-man effort:
Above all else, this was a wonderful team effort from the Kilmacs. Every player on the pitch from 1 to 15, and including the subs when they came on, contributed hugely to this victory. When one player tired, another took his place, when one made a mistake, and there were very few, another rectified it. When one player needed encouragement there was always somebody to push him on. Every player was prepared to put his body on the line for the cause and, even though some shone brighter than others, each and every player came off the pitch having given his all. This was a team in the truest sense of the word.