When Seán Powter pointed for St Francis College, Rochestown in the closing stages of Saturday’s Corn Uí Mhuirí final, it had all the hallmarks of being a match-winner.
Having equalised midway through the second half with a goal, Rochestown fell two points behind again but three scores in a row put them within touching distance of silverware.
Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne’s three-year reign as the Munster Post-Primary Schools champions looked set to end. But then a long-range free from Séamus Ó Muircheartaigh snatched a draw and brings the sides to Rathmore tomorrow (1.30pm).
“I was very proud of the way they responded,” Corca Dhuibhne manager Tommy Griffin said of the late drama.
“The easy thing to do would just have been to send a high kickout down the middle but we had a player look for a short kickout, take on two men and then give it on and that led to a free.
There was huge leadership shown and that’s what you want in that situation.
We’re delighted to have another chance but, halfway through the second half, when we were five points up, you’d have been disappointed if you were told you’d draw. Rochestown are probably no different, they were probably disappointed after being a point up going into injury-time.
“Overall, I think both teams weren’t at their best but they still deserve credit for the character shown. We didn’t expect anything different after what we had seen from them, we knew that they were a tough, dogged team.
“If we won the game the last day, Rochestown would have felt hard-done-by. We’ll be looking to improve, and so will they.” Having lost the Dr Harty Cup final to Thurles CBS a fortnight ago, Rochestown were staring down the barrel of two final defeats when they trailed by five points.
Manager Liam Ó Murchú believes the focus will be on mental recovery as much as physical. “We got them a hydrotherapy recovery session in the Mardyke on the Sunday morning, which was great,” he said.
“We trained twice and that was it. Last week, we were worried as to whether there might have been a hangover from the Harty but now it’s just a matter of getting their heads right and focused on the things we can improve on for the next day.” Not giving away a head-start is another imperative.
“We went down five points against St Brendan’s in the semi-final and we were lucky to come back and beat them by a point,” Ó Murchú said. We did the same the last day and we can’t keep doing that because there’ll be a day when you can’t get back into it.
That’s a big thing but, at the same time, Dingle probably feel they weren’t at their best either. Both teams will be looking for improvement.”
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