Glencar/manorhamilton may have lost their first Senior Final in five attempts this year but the success of their U-21 side in winning their first A Championship crown since 2007 could reignite the Manorhamilton club in future years according to joint manager James Glancy.
County star James, who manages the side along with Shane Ward, believes that Sunday’s success could be a stepping stone to further glory in the years again - “Luckily enough we have a good group of dedicated lads; the club in Manorhamilton is going relatively well at the minute and we are trying to develop theses lads.
“Two of them is all that played in the senior championship final this year, so not many of them have experience at senior level, a consistent run of experience. We are striving to be the best club that we can possibly be and days like today are what it is all about.
“We won the U21 championship in 2004 and 2007 and it was the stepping stone to greater things for the senior team in 2008. Please God this group of lads of whom so many of them have the talent and ability to move on that in three or four years time we might be looking back and saying that it was the U21s of 2012 that was the base of a senior championship winning team.”
James admitted that after three final defeats, victory was sweet - “We have been a long time on the road. For this particular group of players it is our third final since 2008. They have done a lot of work and thankfully they got their reward today.
“The game was far from easy. We were expecting a very tough game. They are a quality side. They have a very good target man in there in Conor Beirne. Two years ago he played with me in the Connacht senior championship game against Sligo and he was the outstanding forward of the year for us and he is a quality footballer.
“It was ding dong there for a while. We had our period of dominance and they had their period of dominance while we got very lucky with the goal at the time. We got it at a time when they were on top and it swung the momentum our way and we went a point up. Fortunately for them they got the equalising point before the end of normal time and they could have snatched it after that only that their effort fortunately for us drifted over the end line and wide.
“Thankfully we dug in deep that time we lost possession as they were in for a score to maybe snatch it there at the end. Luckily we had that bit of luck on our side – luck, they say you make your own luck and today thankfully we had a bit of luck on our side; we needed it, they are a very good team – we always knew it was going to be difficult going up there today, and thankfully we came out the right side after the last couple of years of disappointments.”
Commenting on the timing of the championship, James remarked “The CCC has to do its job and the Fixture Committee; they have to do something, they have to fit it in somewhere but I think there could be time to fit it in. It is a great competition and it is run off so quick, so maybe there could be some place in the calendar earlier in the year. It is hard for the lads at this time of the year to go out and try and perform at a high level.”
A very disappointed Sean Kennedy, joint St. Manachan’s manager with Liam Higgins, found it very hard to accept defeat for his side after they had come so close to pulling a win in the final quarter of normal time in Sunday’s final - “It was tough to take. It was a good battle and a good game that went to extra time.
“We had our chances. We hit the crossbar at the start of extra time. Glencar/Manor had the stronger bench and they came through in extra time. At the end of the day we were working with a panel of 18 players. Glencar/Manor had five subs and a few in extra time, and that was the difference.”