WEST Cork manager Brian McCarthy has issued a rallying cry for local GAA supporters to get behind the divisional team for Saturday’s county senior football final.
Drimoleague native McCarthy acknowledges that his team faces a huge challenge when they take on six-in-a-row chasing Mourneabbey at Cork IT on Saturday, but he points to last year’s drawn county final when West Cork were buoyed by the huge support and forced a draw. ‘We are looking for all of West Cork to come out and support us,’ McCarthy told the Star Sport Podcast.
‘Go back to the drawn county final in CIT last year I thought the West Cork support was phenomenal and it drove us on. We are looking for that again this year.
‘We are going to be under pressure and we need the crowd to get behind us and drive us on, like they did in the drawn final. The girls have put in a huge commitment, they have come together as often as we can and put in a lot of work.’
This is West Cork’s second year in a row reaching the county senior final and they are confident that they can go one step further than last season when Mourneabbey were convincing winners of the replay (4-11 to 1-10).
The addition of Bantry Blues to the set-up this year is a big plus – Bantry’s Emma Spillane started the semi-final against Éire Óg and Lucy Coakley, Rachel Murphy and Eve Murphy all came on – while the younger players are also one season older and wiser.
‘On paper, and no disrespect to the girls who played last year, but we seem to be stronger,’ McCarthy says.
‘Mourneabbey are actually stronger this year as well, Noelle Healy is an asset to any team and we all know what happened in the replay last year, they out-played us so they have to be raging hot favourites for the final on Saturday.
‘Last year we went up to the county final not knowing what to expect from us, this year we are more experienced, particularly the younger girls, like Eimear and Daire Kiely, Laura O’Mahony, Clare O’Shea.
‘Mourneabbey have won the last five county finals, that has to count for something and at the end of the day West Cork have won nothing yet – and I emphasise yet. We are not going up there for a good day out, we’re going up there to win.’