It is 30 years since Sarsfields claimed their one and only Cork senior camogie championship title.
Like most clubs, they have experienced peaks and troughs but now they are back in the big-time, and it is a dream come true for all involved to be contesting tomorrow’s final against four-in-a-row seeking Inniscarra at Castle Road, 4pm.
Needless to say, there is an incredible buzz around Glanmire ahead of the showdown, and a huge crowd is expected at the Camogie Grounds.
“It is unbelievable,” said manager Emmet Fennell, a former Sarsfields hurler who is in his first year in charge.
“Not one of these girls ever played in a senior county final. The last time Sars won was 1989 and it is bringing back fond memories of that occasion. But that is a long time ago.
We are up senior four years, having won the senior B championship and the intermediate championships previous to that. The backbone of our team would come from those panels and we would have girls from the 2016 Féile team as well.
Underage success, undoubtedly, is providing the platform for their swift rise up the ranks. They secured successive All Ireland Féile na nGael triumphs between 2016 and 2018 and they reached this year’s decider. They vied for honours in three consecutive Cork minor finals — winning in 2014 and 2016 which is praiseworthy especially in such a short space of time.
Fennell has an accomplished management team around him, while his wife Emer is well used to match-day nerves, the talented attacker who lined out with Cork continues to serve her club with distinction.
“The average age of our team is 23. We have a good balance throughout, and we have joint captains in Ellen Murphy and Lucy Allen and that has worked well. We would have leaders in different areas of the field.”
They would include Katie Barry, Niamh O’Callaghan (Cork senior), Michelle Barry, Hollie Herlihy and Edel Lonergan.
“I took over from Tadhg Óg Lynch this year and I have Joe Barry, Brendan O’Callaghan, Jeff Leopold, Sinead O’Leary and Mossy O’Sullivan with me in management.
“We were able to push on with the training. We had most of our squad available as we have just one member on the county senior team and that gave us great scope. We know Inniscarra have a wealth of experience. It is going to be a massive occasion for us.”