“THIS is only fairytale stuff,” beamed Effin manager Peter Finn after his side’s thrilling Munster intermediate club final win over Ballyduff.
“When you see the amount of people here - there are not that many people in Effin!” said Finn as the Effin support invaded the pitch.
“These guys have caught the imagination of everyone. When I went to Effin, Mike Kelly was manager and I met the boys and said I would give them two years and hopefully we would be good enough to win the Limerick junior championship in the two years - now winning the Munster intermediate championship is dream stuff,” said Bruree native Finn.
“It’s all down to the players - you can’t do anything unless the players want to do it. There is character in the team from number one to number 27 - different fellas stand up to the plate everyday,” outlined the coach, who works with manager Ger Power and selectors Denis O’Donovan and Jim Byrnes.
“They have desperate heart - I said to the boys at half time that we had a chance. We were poor in the first half and lucky we were only a point down - Ballyduff had a good few wides. In the second half we put the shoulder to the wheel and once we got on top I was confident because we haven’t conceded too much this season and once we didn’t concede a goal I knew we would win.”
Winning captain John P O’Donnell was loud in praise of the entire panel.
“It’s a fantastic team effort - Nickie, John, Tommy, Damien are all fantastic players down the middle but it’s a team effort and it always has been over the last couple of years and thanks be to the god it is starting to pay off,” said O’Donnell.
“We are a fantastic bunch of hurlers and the effort and heart that these fellas have shown is unbelievable,” said the corner back.
“Over the last couple of weeks in all the matches we were able to claw out these kinds of results from tight matches - a lot of that is down to the training with Peter Finn. It’s always fierce intensity and hard and that’s after standing to us in tight games because we are able to pull it out.”
O’Donnell has now lifted the county and Munster intermediate trophies.
“I’m a bit surprised but to tell you the truth I always knew we had this in us.” He continued: “In fairness a great habit we are after developing is to win these tight matches and its standing to us.
“We knew coming down here that this was going to be the toughest battle of the last couple of years. I think for the first five or 10 minutes we were a bit nervous. I know Peter was telling us that it was just another game but definitely they tried to blitz us in the first few minutes but we never panicked.”