Amid the jubilation, nobody was more delighted than Carbery Rangers captain, James Fitzpatrick.
Just as was the case with many of Carbery Rangers’ supporters, finding the words to describe emotions was not easy, but James was just over the moon and very proud to have collected the cup on behalf of the team, the club, their families and the community of west Cork.
“Words just can’t describe it, it’s unbelievable to have finally won the championship for the first time. I just can’t credit the lads enough for the effort and commitment they have put in throughout the year.
“They should be so proud of themselves, their families should be so proud of them for the time and effort they have put in. They are just a great bunch of lads.
There was relief too, in light of previous disappointment. “It’s finally a monkey off our backs, as we have lost a few semi-finals and a final, but you just have to keep going, keep knocking on the door and it shows the great mentality of the lads to keep doing that.
“That’s what it’s all about and when you lose you have to shake hands and get on with it and that’s what we had to do over the last couple of years. But as I said it’s the spirit and mentality in the team that has finally gotten us over the line.”
Carbery started slowly but Fitzpatrick says there was no sense of panic.
“In fairness to Ballincollig, I thought they were on top for the first 10 minutes or so and they were getting the breaks and winning a lot of ball.
“But we came into it and started winning a few balls around the middle and started to drive on from there. The goal was a big score and it gave us a bit of a cushion at a time when they were really coming at us.”
There was no relaxation on that cushion: “They have a great mentality in their side and have come from behind on numerous occasions to win and we were well aware of that yesterday.
“Even the last five minutes they could have clawed it back again, they got the goal from the penalty, they could have gotten another couple of points and could have gotten a draw or a win out of it.
“But look thankfully it was our turn to come out on top and it’s a fantastic day.”
A Munster campaign beckons, though this will be suitably toasted first.
“We will celebrate this one tonight, but we have another big job coming up at the end of the month and we will turn our attentions to that by the end of the week.”
“Winning medals and cups are great, but it’s the feeling of winning with your team-mates, winning with your family, celebrating with your family, that’s what drives us on every day of the week.
“It’s winning with our community that’s what it’s all about and they have been brilliant in supporting us all through this championship and this is their reward as much as ours,” says Fitzpatrick
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