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Interview with Dermot O Herlihy after our final win   21/06/2021

WINNING against Mallow was even more pleasing for two players in particular: Dermot O’Herlihy at wing-back and skipper Daniel Goulding up front.

The long-serving pair were collecting their fourth county football titles in Saturday's SAFC success at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and are now just one shy of a remarkable clean sweep.

“We started out in junior and won that in 2008, followed by intermediate, premier intermediate, senior A and there’s only one more to complete the set,” said O’Herlihy.

“I was 19, when we won the junior. I’m 32 now and time certainly flies.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I know there was only a small crowd here, but that actually made it better because you could pinpoint people in the crowd.”

Éire Óg’s margin of victory was nine points at the finish, but it could have been even more such was their dominance only for faulty shooting to let them down.

“We probably lost our way a small bit towards the end of the first half due to probably missing a few scores.

“But, the key was getting control of the game again after half-time, when we got a few scores and after the second goal we were able to relax somewhat.

“Things started to flow for us and the pace that we have in the middle eight began to show again because the lads were simply lifting.

“The young fellas around there will run all day for you.”

One of several examples came just a couple of minutes before the goal, when centre-back John Cooper’s powerful run ended in a foul and a handy Goulding point from a free.

Picture: Ger Bonus

Picture: Ger Bonus

The new champions will indulge in well-deserved social-distancing celebrations before turning their attentions to the intermediate A hurling final against Aghabullogue.

“Most of the lads hurl as well so we’ll be back on the pitch again at the end of the week and concentrating on hurling from now on.

“It’s all systems go at the moment and sure we’ll see where it takes us.”

When that is taken care of Éire Óg can look forward to meeting Castlehaven, Carbery Rangers and Newcestown in premier senior.

We’re gatecrashing the west Cork group as if it wasn’t tough enough, but that’s where we want to be, to test yourself against the best.”

O’Herlihy praised trainer Paudie Kissane’s contribution.

“He’s fanatical about it all and a perfectionist as well. He just demands the best from all of us all the time, whether it’s training, watching a video, no matter what.

“I thought it showed out there because Paudie had us primed for the game and I can't speak highly enough of him. He’s a legend.”

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