Preventing Drom/Inch from getting off to another great start will be a priority for Clonoulty/Rossmore in Sunday’s County Senior Hurling Final, according to Clonoulty captain John Devane.
“Drom have got massive starts in their last two matches. On my way to the semi-final I heard on the radio that they were 1-14 to 0-4 ahead against Mullinahone. So that’s something we’re going to have to talk about and work on and guard against.
Drom are a serious team and when their dander is up they’re better than Sarsfields or most teams, not only in this county but other counties in Munster”, he says.
Clonoulty lost to Sarsfields in last year’s final by 9 points but they gained ample revenge in this year’s semi-final when they beat the Thurles club by 5 points.
“We were well beaten last year, we had no complaints, it just didn’t happen for us on the day. In any game you need a little bit of luck. It’s not that we’re a totally different team this year, we got the scores last Sunday (in the semi-final), such as Timmy Hammersley’s early goal. When Sarsfields hit back Ciaran Quirke got another goal. Sars could have been level with a ‘65 just before half time but we got 5 points on the trot and you had something to hold onto.
A few little things worked out for us better this year than they did last year and the scores seemed to come at the right time.
You don’t have any fear of a county final but when things start going against you it’s in your head that you’re massive underdogs against a talented team like Sarsfields. Last year the scores didn’t come and we missed a few opportunities, even from the stand you could probably see the confidence was visibly draining from us. Last week the scores came at the right time and every fellow grew an inch taller with each score we got”.
Clonoulty go into the game with a number of injury concerns and their captain claims that any country club can’t afford to lose 4 or 5 frontline players.
“Because of the injuries we all have to up our game but there are young lads coming in who have stood up to the plate. It probably puts more pressure on the older lads to go and match what they’re doing, so it’s not that older players like Tom Butler and myself have to do everything, the young lads are coming in and saying I’ll do so much and you back me up”.
There’s every possibility that John Devane could be marking Seamus Callanan, who he rates as the best club hurler in the county this year.
“When Seamus Callanan is going well Drom are on song and we’ll have to try and tie him down a small bit but others such as Seamus Butler have plenty of talent as well, and David Butler is a serious talent too. So it’s not just a one-man band by any means”, he says.