- NIALL SCULLY – 02 APRIL 2013 10:40 AM
THE Fingal hurlers were on the road early last Sunday morning. The clock going forward didn’t help. But the Fingal management didn’t need a Sat Nav.
They had been to Donegal the previous Sunday to watch their opponents. It proved a rewarding trip for Mick Kennedy and his crew – Seán McGarry, Garret Dalton, Des Foley, Colm Crowley, John Ring and Bryan Kelly.
The return trip to Letterkenny saw Fingal defeat Donegal, 2-11 to 1-9. They are through to the Allianz Hurling League Division 3A final against Donegal. It will take place on April 14th.
Soon after the final whistle, the ‘well done’ texts began to arrive. Among them were messages from Andy Kettle and John Costello.
“We really appreciate it. Like I said before, the Dublin County Board have been very good to us,” says Mick who also salutes the generosity of the sponsors, the Dublin Airport Authority.
“We are so pleased to be in the final. It will be a special day for the lads to appear in a National final.
“They deserve it. They have such huge heart, and they had to show that again versus Donegal.
“We got a tough test. We expected that. It was never going to be any other way. Donegal were unbeaten.
“We were two points up at half-time, having faced the breeze. We were happy enough with that position.
“But then fifteen minutes into the second half, we found ourselves behind. But the fellas dug deep like they have done all season.
“We went on to hit eight unanswered points. It was a terrific show of character. And that’s what got us through in the end.
“We are a very young group. We have used 26 players during the campaign. A couple of lads made their debuts on Sunday. We view the whole process as a chain. Everybody is as important as everybody else.
“It’s marvellous that these players are getting the chance to play inter-county hurling. That kind of exposure will only improve them as players.”
The team aren’t so much known as the Fingal Fliers. It’s more the Comeback Kids.
They have reached the final the hard way, also climbing off the floor in games against Louth, Monaghan and Tyrone.
They carry an unbeaten record into the final. “It’s great to be in the final but we haven’t won anything yet.
“It was a good day for Dublin hurling with the seniors winning in Parnell Park. We’ll now focus in on the final.
“But before that, all the players are being released back to the clubs. That’s the commitment we made to the clubs and we are sticking with it.
“The clubs have shown brilliant co-operation. It’s important now that we are fair to them.
“And it’s vital that the club scene in Fingal is strong. Otherwise, there would be no point in having a Fingal team.