Monaleen turn attentions to Munster championship

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

WITH the county senior football championship trophy resting in the Monaleen clubhouse for another season, manager Micheal McDermott now wants his side to progress towards Munster success.

WITH the county senior football championship trophy resting in the Monaleen clubhouse for another season, manager Micheal McDermott now wants his side to progress towards Munster success.

“This year doesn’t end here today,” said McDermott after watching his side defeate Newcastle West 1-12 to 1-7 in Sunday’s final in the Gaelic Grounds.

“When you are county champions who have to have an ambition to do well for you county. You should not want to stop at winning a county title,” said McDermott, who combines his Monaleen duties with that of managing the Clare senior footballers.

Back in March 2010, McDermott led Kilmurry Ibrickane to the All-Ireland club final and all involved with Monaleen hope that he can repeat that trick.

But standing in their way are Cork champions, UCC.

The students beat Castlehaven in the Cork decider on Sunday and will have home advantage when they clash with Monaleen on November 6.

UCC are listed as the 11/8 favourites to win their fourth Munster crown, while Monaleen are seen as outsiders at 14/1.

UCC last won the Munster crown in 1999 when Limerick Damien Reidy was in their team.

“I can turn my clock back to my Kilmurry Ibrickane days and a small little club in west Clare and they always had an ambition once they won the county that you keep going,” recalled McDermott.

“We have to take every game as it comes now that we are Limerick champions. You have to believe that we can beat them and we have a lot of hard work over the next few weeks”.

Last year Monaleen met Kerry’s Dr Crokes in the Munster club competition and had no answer to the Killarney outfit.

They have appeared in the provincial competition on four previous occasions with a 2002 final appearance against Nemo Rangers the highlight.

One of three newcomers to the Monaleen line-up this season is attacker Ger Collins, who transferred from Milford last winter.

The inter-county man notched 1-3 in Sunday’s final to collect his first medal.

“It’s unbelievable - the lads were telling me about the feeling all week but its unreal,” said Collins after the five point win.

The corner forward kicked the first two points of the game and then midway through the second half he scored the all-important goal from the penalty spot after Jason O’Brien was fouled.

“Both teams were probably watching each other for the first 30-minutes and then it opened up a bit around half time,” recalled Collins.

His goal helped Monaleen into a 1-11 to 0-4 lead with 10-minutes left.

“Newcastle West came back at us there in the last 10-minutes and we were lucky to get over the winning line,” he said.

“The opening 10-minutes of the second half won it for us - we wanted to get a good start and we did.”