Sarsfields v Carey – The captain’s view

Belief the key for Paddies captain

By Brendan McTaggart

Caillin Caldwell wrote his name in Sarsfields folklore on Saturday afternoon by captaining the Paddies to the Intermediate championship and breaching a 43 year gap for the club from their last piece of hurling championship silverware.  After receiving the trophy, the Sarsfields Captain told us that his sides confidence coming into the match was built upon their brilliant league campaign: “It was terrible conditions and we had to dig deep.  We were very confident coming into the game and obviously the conditions were poor but we knew from the word go that we were the better team with having the unbeaten run throughout the year.  We were confident that we could continue our unbeaten run.”

The Paddies were put onto the backfoot in the opening moments of Saturday’s final after Cathal McAuley’s goal.  Caldwell gave us an interesting view on the start to the match when he told us: “We just plugged on.  We knew it was a fluke but that’s hurling.  It was very unlucky on our behalf and lucky on theirs but we knew that if we backed ourselves we could get the scored to get over the line.”

The conditions certainly didn’t help either side when it came to their styles and Caldwell told us that he was pleased how his side reacted to the changing circumstances: “It was tougher for the younger, lighter guys but the older and bigger guys stood up when they were needed today but I thought it was a real team performance today and all 15 players that started and subs used contributed to a great victory.”

Just three points separated the sides at the interval and Caldwell added that the message was clear at half time: “There was no panicking at half time.  Some guys were getting worked, me included, up with the adrenaline but once we knew that if we got our heads in the right place and remained cool, calm and collected that we would be get over the line.  We’ve known nothing but winning this year and we wanted to keep it that way.”

It could be the first step in a historic duo for the Paddies and Caldwell told us that they are confident of delivering: “Football next weekend and hopefully we can make it a double.  This one’s for the fans as much as it is for the players, they’ve been brilliant all year and if we win next week then history will be made.

“We have a lot of dual players but we’re young, fit and very confident.”

0 - Captains

Sarsfields captain Cailin Caldwell and Carey captain Nathanial Hunter with match referee Colm Cunning before the Intermediate Hurling final in Armoy. Pic by John McIlwaine

Hunter has no complaints

Carey Captain Nat Hunter was a broken man leaving the Armoy ground.  He stood by his team as Sarsfields Captain Caillin Caldwell gave his speech and lead them off the pitch when he was finished.  Leading from the front as he has done all year for the Faughs.  He told us of his obvious disappointment and where he felt the match got away from them: “It’s very disappointing.  We thought we were coming into this game today as the hungrier team and better prepared but obviously Sarsfields were the better team on the day.  They showed more hunger and they were more disciplined than us.  I think that’s what got them over the line.”

After scoring a goal with just two minutes played and presented with another major chance when Cathal McAuley was fouled for a penalty, the Faughs Captain told us that he felt McAuley electing for a point from the penalty was the correct decision: “We got the dream start and I think that with it being so early on that the point was the right option from the penalty with the conditions.  It was the right decision at the time.  The better team won on the day, we thought we were better prepared than we were but we’ve got a young panel coming up through and we’ll be back again.”

Just three points separated the sides at the interval and Hunter told us that his side needed to be more clinical in the opening exchanges after the restart: “We came out at half time thinking that if we could get the first couple of scores then we could put them under pressure but we missed a couple of frees and a couple of chances came and gone.  Maybe if we got them then it would have been a different story but they were more clinical in the end under the conditions and we can have no complaints.”




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