Fingal future bright despite Rackard Cup exit
THE end of the road for the Fingal hurlers last Saturday evening.
Out in Swords, manager, Mick Kennedy, felt a sharp dart of pain.
Tyrone had won in extra-time, 1-21 to 0-20 to advance to the semi-final of the Nicky Rackard Cup. They'll meet Roscommon.
It's the third time within the last year that Tyrone have defeated the Fingal men.
Last June, they beat them in the Nicky Rackard Cup final in Croke Park by a point.
Then in Division 3A of the Allianz Hurling League at St David's, Artane in February, Tyrone also had a point to spare.
"They just seem to have the Indian sign on us," lamented Mick, who manages the side with Seán McGarry and Des Foley.
"They just got the breaks late on and they got a run on us for two or three minutes.
"We were chasing the game after that. We had the legs, but it just didn't quite happen for us.
"We didn't get hold of the ball enough and we weren't able to get the right ball into the forwards."
Tyrone had managed to peg back Fingal's handsome lead, and Mick says they will take beating.
"They are the best team that we have played this year. I wouldn't be surprised if they went on and won it."
The Fingal finished mid-table in the League. They lost their opening Nicky Rackard tie to a very impressive Roscommon in Swords before overcoming Louth in Dundalk last week.
Their campaign was cheered by the generous sponsorship of the Fingal Farmers Group.
And Mick insists that the Fingal hurling project is worth its weight in gold.
He says hurling in the North County will see the benefit in the years to come. And he praises the dedication of the players, who were out training with the Dawn Chorus.
"You just couldn't knock the lads for their commitment. I am very proud of them all.
"Losing on Saturday was a sad end to the year. We are devastated, but that's sport.
"We knew it was going to be a tight game. And our lads showed character.
"Our backs were fantastic because Tyrone have very good forwards."