CARNACON may be back in another All-Ireland Ladies Senior club final next Sunday but their manager Jimmy Corbett wasn’t willing to accept the plaudits for getting there.
Speaking to The Mayo News ahead of his team’s big date with Dublin champions, Na Fianna, next weekend, the experienced manager deflectedthe praise on to his players.
“I honestly don’t know how they do it,” he admitted. “It’s phenomenal. As every year goes by they amaze me more and more. Their willingness to work hard for one another is something else. They put absolutely everything they have into every game and they have got their reward.”
Having won All-Ireland titles in 2002, 2007 and 2008, Jimmy Corbett, Beatrice Casey, Michael McHale and the Carnacon players know what success tastes like.
However, they have also sampled the bitter disappointment of defeat, just last year in fact, when Inch Rovers from Cork broke their hearts.
But Carnacon haven’t wallowed in self-pity following that defeat and came back fighting this term. Those battling qualities were certainly evident in their slender semi-final success over Monaghan champions Donaghmoyne when they recovered from the most uncompromising of situations.
“We needed a game like that,” said Corbett. “It wasn’t looking good when we went five points down but these girls have great character. They dug so deep and even when we were reduced to 14, it didn’t bother them. They have the experience now which was a huge help. I think that game will bring us on in leaps and bounds. It was our first test this season.”
The Carnacon camp is also under no illusions as to the magnitude of the task facing them on Sunday when they lock horns with the first-time finalists from Leinster,
“We know they are a top side. They have two or three players on the Dublin team and players from all over the country. It’s almost as if we are playing an international selection. They even have Claire O’Hara and Ciara McDermott who have played with Mayo so that will add another bit of spice into it.”
Carnacon’s chances of taking the title could be severely hampered if Caroline McGing fails to recover from a hamstring tear.
Her manager conceded that it is ‘touch and go’ as to whether she will be fit to face the Dubs.
“Caroline is struggling with a hamstring problem and we don’t know if she will recover in time for Sunday. Other than that I am pleased to report a clean bill of health.”
As a parting shot, the man who founded the club back in 1986 reserved special mention for Cora Staunton who is sure to have a big say in the outcome of Sunday’s showdown.
“Cora is just incredible. She takes so many knocks in games but she just keeps coming back for more. Whether it’s an All-Ireland final, a challenge match or a training session, it doesn’t matter to Cora, she just wants to win everything that she takes part in.”
Just like her team-mates.
Carnacon to win.
Senior Club Final
Carnacon v Na Fianna (Dublin)
Sunday, November 27
Ballymahon at 2pm