Foxes final ambition

by James Hendicott

FOXROCK Cabinteely are back in familiar territory this weekend, though they face unfamiliar opposition in their All Ireland semi-final contest against Cork’s Abbeymourne at Bray Emmet’s on Saturday afternoon.
Both Fox Cab and Abbeymourne have become regulars at this stage of the competition, but have somehow avoided each other in the last few years despite both losing recent finals. There’s a strange symmetry to the paths of the two sides, however, with both having been dominant in their provinces in recent years.
Foxrock Cabinteely took their third consecutive Leinster title earlier this year, while Mourneabbey have tallied four consecutive wins in Munster. Both emerged from junior football, climbing the ranks to dominate at provincial level.
“We pushed the level in Dublin,” Ring explains. “And it’s got a lot harder to get out of Dublin in the last couple of years as other sides have stepped up. Anyone of five teams could have won Dublin this year. Last year it was three, and teams in Meath and Kildare are really stepping up, too.
“We had a great test against Fingallians at the weekend, when we took the league title. They’re a great side, and a great way to prepare for a game as big as this one. Of course, the league is huge for us, too.
“We’re expecting the Abbeymourne game to be extremely tight, especially in the first 15 minutes. Both sides score goals, but they’re excellent defences. A lot of them came to watch us play Confey a couple of weeks back, and we know what to expect from them, even though we’ve never met before.”
With Foxrock Cabinteely having been at their peak in recent weeks with a series of good results, they will be warming up with a challenge game against UCD ahead of the final, with a couple of places for the All-Ireland semi-final still up for grabs.
“We have a few niggles, a few players due fitness tests, and a couple with flu, but I’m expecting everyone to be available for Saturday,” Ring told us. “It’s not so much about fitness at this stage of the season, it’s about avoiding injury.
“We’ve been careful to give breaks during the year. We know Abbeymourne are going to be hard to beat. You have to make the best of these chances when they arrive, as these things go in phases, and we won’t be on top forever.”
Foxrock Cabinteely will be glad to have seen their recent from Monaghan, Donaghmoyne, crash out of Ulster last weekend, but at this level it’s never easy. They will be hoping recent patterns continue, as they look to build on semi-final and final defeats over the last two years.
“We’ve not shown up against Donaghmoyne both times,” Ring admitted.
“It’s great to be involved in this level, and we’re really not looking beyond the Mourneabbey game right now, but we were bitterly disappointed with the last two years.
“Saturday will tell if we’ve learnt from it.”

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