By Brian McDonnell
AS manager Teddy Kennedy guided the fortunes of Drom & Inch alongside selectors Mike Shanahan, Andy Bourke and coach Seán Prendergast this year. And, following Sunday’s defeat Teddy Kennedy was heart-broken. Indeed, the fact that his Drom & Inch side has just contributed to a wonderful game didn’t offer Kennedy much in the way of consolation.
“How good the game was we couldn’t tell,” Drom & Inch manager Teddy Kennedy told the Tipperary Star.
“From the sideline you’re only watching positions and players. Most people say it was a good game. It was fifty-fifty right up to the end.
“We were misfortunate I suppose - going in four points down at half-time we would have been happy enough with that breeze, but next thing we conceded a goal on the stroke of half-time.
“We knuckled down inside. We talked to them and decided that we weren’t going to leave it there at that.
“We were going to come out and do our best. We knew that it could be pulled back. We got the early goal at the start, but we just couldn’t get away from them. This was going to be a fantastic year if we could have won this one - after beating Clonoulty and Loughmore and coming to play Sars in a county final,” manager Teddy Kennedy said.
“But Sars have some fantastic players like Pa Bourke, young McCormack and Maher - fantastic young lads coming on all the time. We knew we were going to be up against it, but we were confident enough coming into it.”
Drom & Inch took the lead in the 49th minute following a Séamus Callanan point, but the defending champions just could not hold off Thurles Sarsfields in a frantic finish.
Perhaps Drom & Inch’s semi-final extra-time exertions against Loughmore-Castleiney a week previously had come at a cost.
“It took a little bit out of us,” Teddy Kennedy admitted.
“Johnny Ryan had an exceptional game, but he had a dead leg all week.
“A few of them were sore - Liam Ryan, ‘Bangers’, he was on the treatment table all week with the knee, but he came through. We have no excuses. When we drew back level I thought we were going to go on and win it with the wind. But they (Thurles Sarsfields) have fantastic players. They’re able to throw the ball around at will at times. They’re moving all time.
“Their movement is fantastic when they don’t have the ball and they’re able to find each other. We tried to nullify that as much as we could by man marking them and it worked to a certain degree.
“If we thought coming in here today that we were going to hold them to one goal we would have felt that we were in with a fantastic chance.”