Rockchapel hoping time has come after disappointment

In the life cycle of every team, a moment presents itself whereby the glass ceiling can be cracked.

Rockchapel hoping time has come after disappointment

Sometimes, though, the glass just will not shatter.

If, however, a club is really fortunate a second opportunity to grab elusive riches might present itself.

And that is certainly the case with Rockchapel, Cork IFC finalists for the second occasion in three seasons.

Éire Óg stole their thunder in 2014. Bandon are in the opposite corner this time round.

Yet, there is a sense throughout their community Rockchapel’s time has arrived.

Gaelic football is thriving in the north Cork area and a sizeable Rockchapel support will venture to Páirc Uí Rinn tomorrow with more than just hope in their hearts.

Selector Colm Murphy can see why.

“Certainly, the lads will say there is a wonderful opportunity there for us to get to the next level,” Murphy explained. “That said, it’s never easy winning any competition. No team has the divine right to win one either.

“As is said, success breeds success though. There is such a huge amount of interest in the team from our community. That’s incredibly important too as it seeps down into the underage groups.

“In Rockchapel we’re a small community, numbers are tight. We have 25, 26 on the panel and that would be the case for a lot of clubs, obviously.

“We believe we have a very capable outfit at this level and so the buzz in our area is both welcoming and understandable.” If Rockchapel had sought to reach the decider under the radar their last-four performance did little to keep them inconspicuous.

Regardless of the fact their semi-final represented a potentially dogmatic local derby against Millstreet, the Donal Casey-managed side cruised to an eight-point triumph, 1-12 to 1-4.

Granted, it was not the most compelling of contests however, who cares? Job done.

Nevertheless, Murphy appreciates the momentum on Bandon’s side following their Cork PIHC success last Sunday.

“Albeit, we’re delighted to be in the final, we also understand the challenge ahead of us. Bandon are a formidable outfit, and that now is not just paying lip service, they really are. As a club they are just off the back of becoming premier intermediate champions in the hurling and they’ll be on a high as a group.

“Collectively, their group, as ours has, will have spent an awful lot of time together and their confidence must be sky-high at the moment.

“They’ll be hoping to make this competition their own too, so to speak so we truly appreciate our task,” Murphy stressed.

A consistently rewarding prong in Rockchapel’s attack, one that has yielded a total of 4-48 in four championship outings at an average of 1-12 per match, is Séamus Hickey.

The powerful inside forward registered 0-4 in open play against Millstreet. And he should prove a problematic presence for Bandon too.

However, Murphy illustrated the crucial levels of support their go-to man has been receiving again this year.

“Séamus has proved, time and again, what a brilliant player he is,” Murphy said. “With the support around him too even Séamus would probably tell you it makes his life a little easier.

“There is a lot of experienced, seasoned players in Liam Collins, Kevin Collins and Brendan Cahill that have been playing together for a good number of years.

“All of those players are then appreciative of each other’s games and we would like to think are constantly improving their skillsets too.

“The consistency of the group though has been really pleasing for us as a management. And hopefully we’ll see that consistency again tomorrow.”

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