Carbery Rangers have finally arrived, says man-of-the-match John O’Rourke

John O’Rourke, man-of-the-match in Carbery Rangers’ historic Cork senior football championship final win over Ballincollig, admitted the side weren’t good enough to win a county title until now.

The Rosscarbery club lost four semi-finals and a final in six years before at last getting over the line in the historic 1-15 to 1-12 success against their 2014 conquerors.

“I reckon we weren’t ready to go any further than we did at that time,” said O’Rourke, who scored five points from play.

The 24-year-old AIB employee in Dunmanway admitted it has been a long learning curve to get to this stage.

“We were definitely off the pace in 2011 and 2012 against Castlehaven, who were that bit cuter and more experienced.

“They were more experienced on the line, too, but I think we’re building that up slowly, as well.

“There’s good underage at the moment and we’re very strong, so the future looks promising. I’ve a brother under-12 who you should keep an eye out for, too,” O’Rourke added.

He identified Chris O’Donovan’s early second-half goal as the turning point in a tight game on Sunday.

“My recall was our wing-back Jerry O’Riordan getting on the ball and I made a run to get a short pass, but he ignored me.

“Then John Hayes came out to do the same and Jerry did the same thing to him and just kept on running.

“I couldn’t believe what was happening. I think everyone expected him to pass, but Jerry caught us all by surprise, including Ballincollig.

“Chris did very well to keep his head because he was just after being tackled, but showed good soccer skills to slip the ball just inside the upright.”


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