Sarsfields manager Alan George was all smiles after his side saw off Na Fianna in the Leinster Club Senior Final in Clane last Sunday.
They had scored an average 5-19 per game up to last Sunday, but the Final was a far tighter affair and they were forced to battle every inch of the way before securing the win.
Speaking after the game, Alan George was extremely happy that his charges had come through such a tough challenge.
“It was a great game, tough game. They’re two great teams in Leinster Football. I’m delighted to come out of that against Na Fianna after a very, very tough game. It’s what we probably needed at the same time to push on.”
One of the keys to Sarsfields’ victory was they work at the back and the manager was quick to praise the efforts of his defence.
“Our defensive unit was very, very strong. They didn’t get through too much. It’s a big part of our game. We’ve been working on it all year. You can see it there today. The amount of blocking down of the ball on our ‘45 and 21 yard line. They couldn’t work the ball in and we blocked the ball very well. But you still have to have players in front of that that will carry the ball up the pitch like they did in the second-half against a breeze. That’s part of the fitness levels we work at throughout the year.”
Sarsfields hd not been tested coming into the game and that was a concern for George ahead of throw-in.
“I’d a sleepless night before the game to be honest with you and it’s probably the first one because I knew how strong Na Fianna were. Our girls hadn’t seen too much competition coming into this game. We won our county against Timahoe and any other game against Timahoe is normally a hard game but we swept them away by 18 points this year. We had to wait six weeks for a game and we were trying to get challenges and trying to keep them going. I’m delighted with that. That’s a real tough game that’s going to take us down to Munster in good stead.”
While there is plenty of experience in the ranks, there are nine minors on the panel and many of those played a key role on Sunday. Alan George took time to praise the set up at the club that brings through so many talented players.
“It’s a very young Sarsfields team to be fair to them and there’s a good minor set up coming through. They’re three years champions at minor and they’re fulfilling what’s going on. They’ll take the places of the senior players that are there. I don’t have any worries who I bring in.”
Next stop for Sarsfields is a trip to Mallow to face Cork and Munster champions Mourneabbey, the first time Cork and Munster Champions who overcame Parnells of London at the weekend by 6-12 to 0-11.
Sarsfields were also away in their semi-final last year against Carnacon in Mayo but Alan George is not overly concerned at having to travel for the game.
“It doesn’t matter. We’re in a good place. We’re in the top four in the country. It’s a nice place to be no matter what. The clubs that are there are champions themselves. Last year we played against Carnacon and we probably could have won it at the end but we didn’t. But that experience has shown out there today. I think it’s stood to them.”