Thankfully, because if they didn’t, this Fermoy team would be left stewing over an embarrassing second-half showing against Mayfield that did a disservice to the good work that got them into a final and put them in a winning position.
Today at Páirc Uí Rinn (3.30pm), they have the chance to make things right
Tomas Clancy has had plenty of county successes since 2009, including a pair of county hurling honours with Fermoy and a senior football win with UCC, but he’s hoping to quickly dismiss the disappointment of losing a late lead to Mayfield last Saturday to secure a first football title with his home club.
“It was more a feeling of disappointment (at the final whistle),” says the Cork defender. “Like we had it in the palm of our hand and all we had to do was close the fist – but we didn’t. At least we have the opportunity to rectify it because I think we did come off the field a bit embarrassed by our performance in the second-half, and that we didn’t get a score on the board. That will only drive us on for the next day.
“We had the chat amongst ourselves and we got that disappointment out of the system. It’s been all positive since Monday.”
On Wednesday he watched the video back to try to decode the mystery of Fermoy’s scoreless second-half collapse.
The outstanding positive was their phenomenal defence, which has only conceded 1-40 in five games, the lone goal against being filed under ‘late consolation’ for an already vanquished Kildorrery.
But despite some storming individual moments in midfield and a superb first-half point, Clancy holds himself to a high critical standard.
“There was a bit more added pressure on me but, just looking back on my own performance, I’d be very critical of myself. I don’t think I performed to what I could last Saturday.
“I’m playing in a completely different position than what I usually play with UCC or Cork but you have to adapt to that. I learned a lot about my own performance the last day and I think I’ll rectify it the next day.”
Last year’s roller-coaster campaign concluded with nine games in 10 weeks, which saw Fermoy win the Intermediate Hurling Championship and exit in the final-four of the football.
This year couldn’t have been more different, since the hurlers exited three months ago. That has helped the footballers flourish but also left them undercooked for the club’s first county football final since 1974’s JFC decider.
“We were very happy with what we did last year but we haven’t won a county in football,” says Clancy.
“This is our first time with this group getting into a final, and for the talent we do have, I think we’ve underachieved. But we’ll take what we’ve learned from the hurling and what we learned last week. The run at the football has been good but we were four weeks without a Championship game and it really did show. We weren’t up to that pace and in the last ten minutes we died energy-wise. We’re flying fit – I think it was just the shock of it, that we hadn’t done it in four weeks.”