Friday, October 09, 2020

Palatine’s Cathal O’Neill and O’Hanrahan’s Harry Walker
Photo: michaelorourkephotography.ie

By Kieran Murphy

ALL is well that ends well in Palatine. There is still a semi-final to be played next year but after their Covid scare where two of their players tested positive contact tracing and subsequent testing confirmed no-one else had picked up the Corona virus.

It turned out the two players were in the squad for this one against O’Hanrahan’s with one player taking a full part in the game. The second squad member was rested.

Tomás Kenny, the winning captain, was delighted with the way everything turned out. What did he do for the two weeks?

Sitting at home. Relaxing. It was nice to get a rest. That was the only positive we could take from the last two weeks,” he said.

And could he be with his family?

We had been tested. I was tested twice. Once we were negative we were able to mix with our families,” he confirmed.

The team couldn’t train for the last two weeks. Players did their own thing under guidance.

You go for walks in the morning, keep active and keep yourself ticking over. We weren’t allowed train. Yesterday (Saturday) was the first day we were allowed out. We didn’t train. We said there was no point. All we were missing was three sessions.”

Palatine were sharp right from the off. Scoring the goal and the way it came meant they had an excellent mind-set.

I think the rest was perfect. Week on and week on, lads were getting tired,” suggested their skipper.

Covid had struck fear into sections of the community. The figures speak for themselves. 38,000 cases and over 1800 deaths in Ireland since the pandemic hit. The two Palatine players had made great recoveries.

They were togged out and in good health. We might have been young enough that it wasn’t going to affect us but we were afraid we might pass it on,” said Kenny.

Now it is back to the new normal. A senior football championship semi-final at headquarters with reduced attendances. Last year Palatine knocked out Rathvilly at the same stage but in the group stages this year they were on the end of a 0-15 to 1-5 mauling. Palatine are not afraid of Rathvilly and last year was an example of that

A massive game. They gave us our come uppance in the first game. We want this game. We want redemption and go out and prove a point,” stressed Kenny.

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