Mayfield’s Munster sojourn, according to their coach Seamus Lawton, is a once in a lifetime opportunity that the Cork city club must grab with both hands.
Their three-point win over Sarsfields in the county junior decider last Sunday week ended a 38-year famine and Lawton insists his players are determined it will not be the last piece of silverware won. First up on their provincial journey is a quarter-final away to Limerick representatives St Patrick’s — with Limerick hurler Gearoid Hegarty lining out at centre-back — tomorrow (Gaelic Grounds, 1pm).
“Our attitude is that we want to have a real cut off Munster because, more than likely, this group of players will never again get a chance to play in Munster,” said Lawton.
“Even if they do well in intermediate, there is no Munster competition for that. You’d have to win the Premier Intermediate to get back into Munster and reaching that level is going to take a couple of years work. The older players, especially, want to drive it on and see how far can we go in this. And while we don’t really know what to expect, we do realise the size of the opportunity in front of us.”
From the 18 players who saw game-time during the 1-16 to 1-13 victory over Sarsfields, nine had been involved on the afternoon of the 2011 county final defeat to Charleville.
Lawton was delighted that they had earned their just reward for years of honest service to the club. Included in that group is captain Shane O’Donovan.
“Shane suffered a long cut in his finger 15 minutes into the game against Sars and even though we got him back on again, he had to come back off as the referee said he’d lost too much blood. Darren Hayes, who’s only 20, went back centre-back. It was only his second game because he has been injured all year. He stood up. They all stood up in Shane’s absence.
“There was such an unbelievable high after the final whistle. Everyone has taken such pride from the win. The young lads in the club are now looking up to this team as their heroes. It is huge for the club going forward.”
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