Muskerry on a high

AT the start of the season, the Muskerry players didn’t even dare to dream of reaching the semi-final stage of the Cork county senior football championship.

Team manager George Lynch said: “Our goal was to win our two games in the divisional section of the championship, but we obviously did not realise the potential we had and to have reached the semi-final is something really fabulous.”

Muskerry are now poised to take on Dohenys at Pairc Ui Chaoimh tomorrow for a place in the final.

Managed by Aghabullogue clubman Lynch and coached by Macroom’s Gary McPolin, Muskerry, particularly with their two exciting wins over Castlehaven and Clon, are the surprise-packet of this year’s championship.

Lynch said: “The reason for our great run all boils down to the support and commitment we received from all the players in the squad. Despite their heavy club schedules they have always turned up for training when called.”

Muskerry last reached the final in 1995, when they lost out to Bantry Blues, and the only survivor from that side is towering midfielder Peader Concannon.

Muskerry will be looking to the likes of vastly experienced Cork senior Noel O’Leary, Cork junior All-Ireland medal-winners Pat Dunlea and John Russell, and full-forward Gary O’Halloran, who scored 2-4 against Castlehaven.

Dohenys have also displayed tremendous resolve en route to the semi-final. Defeated by UCC in their opening encounter, they bounced back to surprise both St Finbarr’s and O’Donovan Rossas last weekend and with players of the calibre of full back Paul Deane, half-backs Timmy Donovan and Denis Lyons, midfielders Michael Farr and Pat Collins, allied to the forward skill of Ger McCarthy and Miceal O’Donovan, the lion-hearted Dunmanway representatives will not be found wanting.

Muskerry manager Lynch revealed he has not seen the Dohenys in action.

“We have adopted the approach of focussing strictly on our own game.”

But he added: “To beat them we will have to improve on our quarter-final performance against Clon. In that game we made several blunders and from now on we cannot afford to make any mistakes.”

In the final analysis, the greater all-round balance of Muskerry should see them through.

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