LAST Saturday evening immediately after Palatine had knocked Rathvilly out of the championship to qualify for the final, manager, Pado Flynn, opted not to be interviewed and requested that he do it the following day.
True to his word, he was available after he had watched Tinryland beat Rangers in the second semi-final. He was unaware of the significance of the two parish teams being in the final.
“Being from Kilkenny, I would not have been aware of that. It is going to be a great final. Two parish rivals. A great atmosphere. It is going to be brilliant for the kids of the parish to have both sides in it. You saw there today. Paul Broderick came on. What a magical footballer he is. It is a huge boost for Tinryland. He looks as if he has got over his injury. Shane Redmond in the middle of the field. They are two powerhouses. When people go to pick the Carlow team of all time, they are legends,” observed Pado.
Palatine were long odds to be in the final before the first ball was thrown in. Their manager can only hazard a guess as to how the journey started.
“I don’t know. This is very much driven by the players. A lot of these players went back training in November and December with Killian Roche. They put in the effort themselves. I was in a very fortunate position that when I got the job in January, they were fit.
“They are interested in football. They love football and they are the ones putting in the hard yards. When you have the likes of Noel Byrne, Cormac Holloway, Billy Murphy and Killian in your back-room team you are only captaining the ship. They have such knowledge-football wise, you are just driving it on with them.”
On Sunday, Palatine had no injury worries.
“This morning we were just trying to get sore, tired bodies and getting lads together back in one-piece,” says Pado.
“If a lad had half an arm hanging of them they would say they are fit for the final. When it comes to a county final, any championship game, you don’t give excuses. We will have fifteen players who will be proud to put on a Palatine jersey next Sunday and we will see where we go,” notes Pado.
“Look, it is something to look forward to. Tinryland are the only team to have won every game in the championship this year. They defeated the greatest team ever to come out of Carlow in Éire Óg. We are delighted to be in the final so we need to take every minute of it in and enjoy it.”
By Kieran Murphy