Cork Premier IFC final: Fermoy still chasing the Promised Land

Cork Premier IFC final: Fermoy still chasing the Promised Land
Bantry Blues Alex Hamilton tackles Fermoys Shane Ahern for the ball at the Bantry Blues v Fermoy Premier IFC QF played in Macroom

For either St Michael’s or Fermoy, their run of county final heartache comes to an end on Sunday.

The two teams contest the Cork Premier intermediate football final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (2pm), a fixture they are all too familiar with.

St Michael’s lost deciders in 2012, 2015, and last year, while Fermoy were beaten in the 2016 showpiece, a year where they also lost the premier intermediate hurling decider. Fermoy are back within an hour of promotion, according to their manager Michael Hennessey, largely because they have rediscovered the hunger which carried them into two county finals in October of 2016.

Twelve players featured in both of those county finals and the effort expended in getting the club to within touching distance of a premier intermediate double, coupled with the subsequent agony at finishing the year empty-handed, contributed to a 2017 campaign where they made little impression.

We said at the start of this year, with regard to last year, that we felt the hunger was gone after getting to two county finals and then losing both. They have the hunger back this year,” Hennessey insists. “They have that bit of bite about them and I think they felt they just left it behind them a couple of years ago. We will be out to, hopefully, make amends for two years ago.

“We say to them every game, we want one more shot at it. Now, we are going to get one more shot. I am sure St Michael’s are thinking the exact same thing. One of us will eventually go senior, one of us will go up. Hopefully, it will be ourselves.”

The men from North Cork took down one of the favourites for promotion to the senior ranks, Naomh Abán, in their semi-final (1-12 to 0-14). Hennessey believes there’s “another gear” in his charges, one which they will probably need to hit if they’re to find themselves in the bowl for the senior championship draw come 2019.

“If you were to have asked me earlier in the year who do I think will be in the final, to be honest, I would have said St Michael’s. They have experience of losing in finals and so do we.”

The manager concluded: “We are a dual club but in this club, it is 50/50 down the middle. The hurlers were knocked out two weeks before our semi-final and it gave us a two-week break. I cannot fault the lads. They have put as much effort as they can into it and for a bunch of young fellas, they are fantastic.”

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