They’ve put their shoulder to the wheel all year and having watched Newtown Blues capture the senior championship from under their noses, Cooley Kickhams desperately want to finish 2013 on a high.
Defender Conor Rafferty is firm in his belief that not a single player in the green and gold of Cooley will leave anything behind on the pitch at Dowdallshill on Sunday afternoon.
“We don’t want to waste a year. The lads have put in tremendous effort and committment all year, so there’s a real passion to end it on a high”, reaffirms Rafferty.
After the championship final defeat, Rafferty felt that the team were quickly able to turn their attention back to the league. According to manager Adrian Sheelan, the league was Cooley’s primary concern for this year. 2012 saw the peninsula side slip up in the league and dice with potential relegation. That was not their intention this year.
“Adrian has stressed the importance of the league from the very start. In previous year’s it has all been about the championship. But this year we concentrated on the league and it actually helped us when it came to the championship as well”, reveals the Cooley defender.
Of course they happen to be facing their biggest rivals on Sunday. As Rafferty admits, games against The Pat’s, no matter what competition, are big events.
“It doesn’t matter of it’s the Paddy Sheelan cup, or the league or the championship, these are big matches and you want to win them. In recent years are record against them hasn’t been great, hopefully we can step up this time.”
That ongoing poor record was highlighted as recently as just two weeks ago when Cooley fell to defeat against St Pat’s in the final league game.
Of the two O’Donnell semi finals, Cooley looked to have the more difficult against Sean O’Mahony’s. Although they won out convincingly by nine points in the end, it was a tougher affair than St Patrick’s facile defeat of a sluggish Kilkerley team in the other.
“O’Mahony’s are a good up and coming team. But we’ve been strong at home all season and everyone is looking forward to the big day now,” added Rafferty.