St Francis College, Rochestown: We didn’t get an even break

A pair of disgusted parents vented their frustration at referee Rory Hickey as he departed the field at the full-time whistle in Rathmore.

Rochestown’s free count paled in comparison to that of the champions and losing manager Liam Ó Murchú also felt his charges had been wronged by the Clare official in a number of key calls.

“We weren’t happy with some of the decisions made today, we felt we didn’t get an even break,” he said.

Ó Murchú’s squad had been hit by a bug during the week which robbed management of the services of half-back Nathan Walsh for this replay.

“Daniel Meaney was out all week and Nathan didn’t start. There were another few lads who went down with the flu so that didn’t help. Look, we just ran out of legs today, to be honest. It has been a long season.

“While we got them back level, it was very hard to get in front. Maybe had we got on top at some stage we might have been able to keep going, but it is just very hard.

“The goal did make a difference but I think they were the better side today. Tom Ó Suilleabháin we kept quiet for a bit, but in the last 10 minutes there he was flying.”

He added: “It will be hard to pick them up for the hurling, but they are such a resilient bunch you would hope they will be able to pick themselves up. We have a Simcox Cup final against Coláiste Chríost Rí and we haven’t won that since 1950. That in itself would be a great achievement if we could win both the Simcox and the O’Callaghan Cup.”

Winning manager Ciarán Ó Moráin hailed the outstanding workrate of his students.

“They got level in the second-half, but we responded and who else but Tom [Ó Suilleabháin]. This is his fourth Munster final in-a-row starting.

“We had the likes of him to depend on, Cathal Bambury also has four Munster medals. Brian Begley was immense. The covering and running done by Máirtín Ó Gormáin was outstanding,” he noted.

“We knew there were a lot of things we didn’t do well last week and they couldn’t be repeated. We conceded a lot of frees in the backs the last day and we nailed that down well here. We reduced our own free count and didn’t give them as many scoring opportunities. We are very happy with that.”

Ó Móráin pointed to Cathal Ó Bambaire’s goal on seven minutes as the crucial score in the decider.

“It came at the right time. We hadn’t settled before the goal. It settled the lads. We were after having a difficult start and it lifted the heads which helped.

“This is a particular bunch with particular motivation. Even though they are from a variety of clubs, all that goes out the window when they put on the school jersey.

“They are an outstanding group of fellas and the proof of that is in the pudding. They have contested five Munster finals and won four on the hop. Incredible. We will cut our cloth now for the Hogan Cup semi-final.


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