From the start of this year’s Senior Championship, Killoe Emmet Og have been the favourites to capture the Connolly Cup. Manager Tommy McCormack admitted that he and his team certainly don’t see it that way.
“People have put that tag on us for whatever reason but that’s not how we see it in our camp. We have had a lacklustre sort of league campaign and haven’t been convincing in some championship games. It is one hour of football and anything can happen. Look at Dublin, everyone said they were unbeatable and after 70 minutes they were out of the championship,” he told the Leader.
After winning the championship in 2012, Killoe were knocked out by Longford Slashers last year. It was a tough defeat for Killoe to take because McCormack felt his players just didn’t perform to the best of their ability.
“Last year was a difficult task and our experienced players just didn’t perform on the day. We still had enough of the ball and the chances to have won the game and that was disappointing for us.”
The Killoe side have looked impressive in games this year and got through the group stage with ease. Their biggest challenge after that was the meeting with reigning champions Longford Slashers in the quarter-final.
McCormack said: “In the early games in the group stage we did play well but Pearse Park is a great leveller from other grounds; when you play there it’s a different scenario. This year we took every game as it came and tried to improve and we were made work hard to get the required results.”
One player who has burst into the senior scene this year for Killoe is Larry Moran and the Emmet Og manager is delighted with the impact the talented youngster has made.
“Larry is a very talented young lad who is prepared to listen and prepared to learn. The other players beside him have been around the block, even though Mark Hughes is still very young. It’s vital for Larry to have good players there to lend their support.”
Moran has added something to an already strong Killoe forward line. In every game the scoring has been shared and this is something that pleases McCormack.
“The lads have shared a lot of the scoring. We don’t depend on the same one or two players to get us over the line. I would be hoping that every Killoe player will come in with their contribution. We have been lucky in that we have a good panel with plenty of youth.”
Although he will be plotting their downfall on Sunday, Tommy McCormack is delighted that Mullinlaghta are in the final.
“It’s brilliant to see them there. They are not a flash in the pan as they have been knocking on the door for the last few years, reflected in their Leader Cup success last season. They are there on merit and are a well-balanced team. They beat a good Clonguish outfit in the semi-final and were impressive in the group stage of the championship. It has the makings of being a good final. It’s something different.”