Sports

Slevin happy to deliver on big stage

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Slevin happy to deliver on big stage thumbnailCiaran Slevin with the man of the match award and his son, Sean (who is 1 year and 10 months old) after K/K's big win. On the right is Kevin Meehan of sponsors, Colton Motors.

WHEN Kilcormac/Killoughey won their three in a row from 2012 to 2014, Ciaran Slevin was instrumental and sure enough on Sunday, when they reclaimed their crown, he was there in the thick of it again leading the way.

From his crucial goal in the opening half, to his coolness from frees, Slevin stood up to the mantle and delivered for his team. His opening half goal came just as he came back on to the field after a temporary substitution and found himself in acres of space.

"Oisin (Mahon) came back off and Pat Camon was gone to the other side of the field and the ball came down. He didn't even see me. I couldn't believe there was so much space in front of me and I told myself to make the most of it because those chances don't come around too often.

"That's the first time I've ever seen a blood sub work with a lad coming back on and thank God when it came to me I was able to stick it into the corner.

Slevin picked up the man of the match award after the game and his performance in the crucial midfield sector gave K/K a great foundation.

"Happy enough. When we won the semi-final we said the middle third was going to be huge. Rynagh's play a lot of their hurling around the middle third. We worked hard on that for a few weeks to try and snuff them out. We done it well in the first half. We kind of slackened off a small bit in the second half; we seemed to run out of a bit of steam. But thankfully the 60 minutes came when it did and we got over the line."

They were 2-10 to 0-5 up at half time having played with the wind and Slevin was happy with the way they dealt with having the elements behind them.

"Nearly first time all year we hurled the elements well. Against Belmont we did it in fits and starts. We were very happy at half time. There was no mad shooting from out the field, but we knew going in at half time we had a big job ahead of us in the second half. In fairness Rynagh's used it well for the 10 or 15 minutes patch that they had but thankfully we got over the line and we'll head into Leinster now and see what that brings us."

Playing St Rynagh's was always going to be a stern test of their credentials. Reigning champions and playing with a style that is difficult to counteract according to Slevin.

"They're fairly unique the way they approach the game, but we played them a few times before. We played them the last three years in a row, in the final and two semi-finals and we played them in 2012 as well so we kind of knew they were building this kind of pattern and they stuck to the main elements.

"It didn't make much difference to them. They were going to stick to their short passing and working the ball up the field, and we knew that. In fairness to Stephen (Byrne) and John (Leahy) and the boys they had us well drilled through the three weeks. We did a lot of drills to kind of counteract what they done, and thankfully it paid off on the day."

Frees were also important on the day and Slevin was in the zone. "It was a dirty day for free taking and you could even see with Stephen Quirke for Rynagh's who's a very good free taker, he missed a couple as well.

"The wind was swirling and it was hard to judge it. It seemed to be coming over my left shoulder in the first half and it seemed to be switched for the second half. But look, with these things on county final day you have to deal with it fairly quick and thank God it went fairly well.

"Myself and Cillian (Kiely) were having a chat (about crucial free at the end). He wanted to hit it but we had a rule that if it was inside the 60 I was hitting them, so I told him it was five yards inside the 60, so I was going to take it. Thankfully I hit it fairly well and it went over. That's what you have to do on the day. You have to hold your nerve."

They will now take on Castletown-Geoghegan in the Leinster championship in four weeks time which gives plenty of time to clear up a few injuries.

"We didn't really pay too much attention to what was going on in Leinster because we couldn't look any further than today. We set out at the start of the year to win this. We have a few weeks to take care of a few injuries and give it a rattle.

"The couple of years we were in it we got to the final and won one and we were beaten in a semi. We'll take stock again and prepare over the next four weeks."

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