First Published Limerick Leader 07 December 2013
by Jerome O’Connell
AFTER Feenagh-Kilmeedy were crowned county champions they quickly turned their attention to the Munster club. The West Limerick side were previously in the Munster club championship in the maiden year of the provincial junior championship in 2003. They lost in round one but this time round were determined to make a mark and play in the Munster JAHC final this Sunday against Waterford’s Ballysaggart in Mallow at 3.15.
“There were fellas in the club that had regret about 2003. We were so over the moon to win the county that the Munster club maybe wasn’t taken very seriously,” explained manager DJ O’Sullivan.
“We have a few players still involved as well as club officials. In recent years we have seen the likes of Effin, Blackrock, Charleville and Meelin and St Kierans last year all do well in Munster and we wanted to try and get somewhere as well,” outlined the manager.
“The Munster championship is another step-up and it is a learning curve for us as well and it should stand to us for next season.”
O’Sullivan and selectors Liam Long and Eamon O’Connor brought their players to Mallow last Saturday as they bid to tick all boxes in their preparation.
“The game on Sunday is the biggest day ever for the club. The interest around the place is massive and the goodwill towards the players is brilliant.”
With wins over the champions of Cork and Tipperary, Feenagh-Kilmeedy’s final opponents Ballysaggart are favourites on Sunday.
“It’s a two horse race and it will be 50-50. It really will be who ever performs on the day. In the county final we had four or five players who were in contention for Man of the Match and we will need performances like that again on Sunday,” said O’Sullivan.
The Waterford side are powered by three Bennett brothers – sons of former Deise hurler and selector Pat, who managed Bruree for the past two seasons.
Full forward Stephen Bennett, who was star of the Waterford side that won the All-Ireland minor title in September, is the chief marksman for Ballysaggart.
“They are a big strong side and any team that reach a Munster final are there on merit and will be formidable opponents,” said the Feenagh-Kilmeedy manager, who saw the opponents in their semi-final win.
“In fairness to our players they have had a great attitude this season and they will give it a right rattle on Sunday.”
According to the manager the key ingredient in 2013 was that “all players bought into the plan”.
“In every game different players have stood up to take the team on and that’s special. In fairness their is great spirit in the team and they now cover for eachother. We have 28 on the panel and not one of them question a decision or tactic – its all about the team and everybody is behind what we are doing.”
“The lads know that Sunday is a big day but I think they are just looking forward to playing in a Munster final for the club,” said the team manager.