Photo: INPHO/Tom O'Hanlon

Connaughton: ‘We cherish county finals in Raharney’

Raharney’s winning manager, Padraic Connaughton, was understandably upbeat after his charges had won a sixth successive Westmeath senior camogie title in Kinnegad yesterday afternoon.

The former Deelside hurling stalwart opined: “We’re delighted. We put in a huge effort. I was ‘Zoomed out’ during ‘lockdown’ and I never want to hear the word ‘Zoom’ again!

“We haven’t stopped training and we intended to be ruthless today. And we had to, as Clonkill are a good team and you can’t let them into a game. So we went for the jugular straight away and, in truth, we should have scored more.”

The girls in all-blue scored four goals in a fine all-round performance, two of them close-range palmed finishes from Elaine Finn. In this regard, the successful bainisteoir stated: “Elaine is a finisher and we have finishers throughout our forward line.

“We looked for goals. We worked on our long-range striking as well because we’re often facing packed defences but if we get a sniff of a goal, we go for it.

“Clonkill’s Alannagh Dowadall is a great shot-stopper, so we tried to avoid shooting straight at her and instead worked the ball close in. We missed bags of goals, but we’ll correct that. At the other end, our own goalkeeper, Anna Weir, had a great game and made crucial saves in both halves.”

The manager stressed that his troops have not lost their hunger for more silverware.

“This means a lot. From 1985, for 22 years we couldn’t even get into a final. When I was hurling for 12 years, we couldn’t even get to a semi-final. So we cherish county finals in Raharney.

“We don’t know if there will be a county final the way the world is gone. We drummed that fact home during the build-up that this could be their last county final, whether it be that they’re not good enough to get into another one, or the world is gone crazy again.

“So when we are here, we’re going to make the most of it,” Connaughton concluded.

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