ON A BURST Kilmeena’s Colin Kilcoyne gets away from Moy Davitts’ Cian McHale. Pic: Martin McIntyre
THE manner of Kilmeena’s All-Ireland Junior final win over Kerry side Gneeveguilla last February has been a big factor in their march to an Intermediate final this year.
That’s according to Kilmeena coach Eoin Sweeney, who was speaking after their three point win over Moy Davitts on Sunday.
He said they took a ‘huge amount’ from the All-Ireland win and the manner of it.
Kilmeena had that All-Ireland as good as won but a poorly conceded late goal brought the game to extra-time. However, the Mayo champions bounced back to triumph, despite the potential anguish of letting the game slip from their fingers.
“The resilience that we showed in Croke Park was a big thing,” Sweebet told The Mayo News. “We never bent the knee at all. Gneevguilla came at us, brought us to extra-time and we still had that resolve, that reserve of energy to come back again and to win it.
“Likewise, against Kilmaine, where we were really pushed hard but the Kiltimagh game was the game where I felt we really excelled. We were five or six points down going in at half-time, we reassessed, went after them, identified where we needed to work on and we really pushed on. The one thing about this team, they don’t know when they’re beaten and that’s a great, great trait.”
Coming up to the Intermediate ranks after All-Ireland Junior glory, it’s clear Kilmeena did not see themselves as also-rans. It is something they spoke about.
“The target was very simple. You’re not going to be a junior team that will be ‘yo-yoing’ up and down. When the group was announced we’d three very, very tough assignments, you’d Hollymount, you’d Kilmaine and Kiltimagh, three very experienced and battle hardened teams. But as I keep saying, we played a senior team in all but name from Kerry in an All-Ireland Final and beat them. So there is that confidence within the group.”