MONALEEN have displayed a determined character and great experience in 2013, that captain Peter Russell believes will stand them in good stead in Sunday’s Limerick SFC final against Dromcollogher-Broadford.
Monaleen romped to a 2-17 to 1-3 opening round win over Adare.
But the next day out they found themselves 1-6 to 0-2 in arrears to Pallasgreen at half time and still trailed 2-6 to 0-7 at the 48th minute mark.
They battled back for a 0-12 to 2-6 draw and have progressed to win the next four games to reach Sunday’s final.
“We sat down after that and said we had to up our intensity and up our training, which I think we did,” recalled Russell of the aftermath of the Pallasgreen game.
“We have had a few tight games along the way but I think the character showed through in those games, which sometimes is more important than winning a game by a big score,” said the captain.
With Ger Lawlor returning as manager this season, Russell explained that advancing directly to a semi-final was key.
“That was one of the things at the start of the year when we sat down and talked about things - we didn’t want to be waiting on phonecalls and results at the end of the group stage to get through,” he outlined.
“We sat down and said we wanted to firstly take it game by game but we wanted to try and top the group and it’s been different to other years in that we went straight to the semi-final.”
“Any time that you are in a county final, you look forward to it especially one between ourselves and Drom - the build-up is enjoyable but on the day of the match, you will still have the butterflies.”
In their semi-final win over St Patricks, Monaleen were slow starters.
“We got off to the worst possible start and were 9-2 down and lucky enough we held our heads and had that bit of experience to get us through - we got a slow start and St Pats came flying into the game,”
The captain warned: “If we start like that against Drom it would be very hard to pull it back against them. As Drom will be doing, we will both look for the best possible start,” said Russell, who will line out in the half back line.