Killoe manager Tommy McCormack spoke of his side’s battling qualities after they drew with reigning champions Longford Slashers in the County Senior Final on Sunday last.
McCormack’s charges came from three points down in the first half to draw the game just before the break and then right at the end county star Sean McCormack fired over the equalising point from a free. The Killoe boss praised his side’s fighting spirit: “It’s a characteristic that this team have,” he told the Leader. We have won so many games at the death. Sometimes we have just done enough to stay in it. Someone said coming off the field ‘your name must be on the cup the year, other than that you would be out of the competition.’ These lads come from a winning mentality; they have won minor and U-21 titles and other underage competitions. It’s a never say die attitude that they have. They were going for the win in the latter stages of the game.”
Over the course of the county final Killoe had enough chances to win the game but Slashers could have grabbed a late winner right at the end. With the way the game went McCormack was happy with the draw: “I suppose I’m relatively happy with the draw, the way the game was going from one end to the other. We never got the couple of points that we needed to build on.”
McCormack added: “We matched Slashers in many ways and I think we done well at midfield. When we got the ball we went at Slashers but nothing really came of it though. It seems of late that we do panic a little in front of goals. Maturity will probably come with experience. The oldest on the team is 26/27. They have a lot of football ahead of them and this is a learning process for them.”
The Killoe boss believes that his young side will take a lot of heart and experience out of Sunday’s game which they can bring into the replay: “If you are going to match Slashers you have to play with the intensity and the level that they bring to the game. We felt we did come somewhat in that direction today. We are a relatively young team and wouldn’t have played with that intensity or under that pressure. I think they did themselves really proud. They’ll learn from today and build on that. It’s going to be a big game in the replay on Sunday. We have a few knocks and bangs but hopefully a few days will clear those up and we’ll be back again.”
One of those players who had to go off injured was Shane Dowd. The defender has been one of the stand-out performers in the championship this year and Killoe can’t afford to lose him. “Shane has been brilliant all year,” said McCormack. “An awful lot of our attacks hinge on his progress up the field. Hopefully it won’t be too serious and he will be able to play some part on Sunday.”