NAOMH Olaf’s manager Larry Kinsella is delighted that his side can finally enjoy a break after an epic run of five matches in 15 days, countered by a three-week hiatus until his side is next in action.
During the past fortnight, his side raced to the Dublin intermediate football championship title with a superb comeback win last Wednesday in Parnell Park.
They subsequently added a 1-11 to 1-9 win over a hotly-tipped Johnstownbridge, from Kildare, in the first phase of the Leinster championship to set up a date with Offaly’s Kilcormac Killoughey.
That game was initially pencilled in for November 3 but Kilcormac’s success in their county hurling championship means that their football date will now be played on November 10.
It gives Kinsella’s men a little bit of time to recover after a couple of tough weeks.
“It was a huge ask to play on Sunday in our fifth game in 15 days,” Kinsella told GazetteSport. “My biggest concern was could we get up to the same level physically and mentally. The lads surpassed themselves. We were playing a particularly good side, a senior one side in Kildare who have just won their inter championship and have four or five of their county panel in their squad.
“We are glad of the break because we had picked up a few injuries. Overall, the team was really good, the defence and the forwards were great given the quality of the opposition.”
His side led 1-5 to 1-4 against the Kildare IFC champions but, with a strong wind in Rathcoole in their favour, Kinsella said his side pulled out a huge performance with Eoin Kinsella finding his shooting boots in style.
“We were a bit concerned we hadn’t done enough and had it all to do in the second half. The game plan was to stop their free movement given the talent they had and did it well. Our backs did particularly well and our half-backs were very good with David Byrne on the wing and Colin Byrne at centre half-back.
“Byrne had a fine battle with Paul Flynn in the county final. Given the player he was on, he did particularly well and had an equally good game on Sunday.”
As for Kilcormac Killoughey, he says they will be a different proposition to Johnstownbridge.
“They would have a number of dual players and we’re expecting a big, strong, physical team and a totally different opposition to Johnstownbridge with a typical Offaly spirit and determination.”
No venue has as yet been set for that quarter-final but Kinsella is hopeful Parnell Park will be the destination.