DAMIAN Byrne believes that revenge will not be the order of the day when Celbridge meet Confey this Sunday in the 2012 Kildare SHC final at St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge, writes John Ryan.
Confey handed Celbridge only their second championship defeat in four years when defeating them in a preliminary round replay earlier in the campaign, a result which could be addressed when the sides meet again this weekend in a game that will be a repeat of last year’s decider that was won by Celbridge.
“We have to concentrate on what we do and how we play ourselves – if that is good enough to get ourselves over the line then great,” acknowledged Byrne.
“But revenge and things like that are emotional things that will last about five minutes once the game begins. I’ll have more interest in performing and how we perform.”
Byrne, a former goalkeeper with Dublin for whom he played with in a Leinster final against Kilkenny back in 1991, admitted that he was something of a relieved man when the long whistle sounded following last Saturday’s semi-final replay win over arch rivals Ardclough, a game that Byrne concluded could have gone either way.
Unlike Confey though who defeated Naas a week previous, Celbridge will only have eight days to get themselves refocused for another crack at the Sean Carey cup, silverware that they have won for the past three years.
“It’s a quick turn-around so we’ll need to put this game to bed fairly soon and get focussing on the next game.
“It really is a six-day turn-around and that is going to be tough in terms of dealing with knocks, bruises and the like so that we can have a full complement going into the game.
“They have great character and that has never been in doubt because when it has been put up to them they have been able to respond – in the couple of years that I have been here I have never had a problem with that.”
Whilst Celbridge have been far from their normal selves to date in the championship, Byrne is encouraged that his side are beginning to show signs of a return to their norm.
“It has been difficult for them because we have eight on the senior (Kildare) panel and I think five on the U-21s. We have to go through the year without these lads for long periods and that has made it very hard to build things up.
“We are only now getting everybody back after seeing lads go to America and what have you.
“I don’t know if the last three years has taken its toll. You have to consider that we have at least 13 players who are involved at inter-county level, so they are involved from November right through.
“Last year we went right through until November (because of Leinster IHC final), so for those lads that’s 12 months of non-stop hurling, which some have been doing for three years now.
“So to a degree we had to consider when lads wanted to go away to America and that because they have been hurling every week for the past 12 months, if not more, which is a serious commitment.
“The chances are that they could go stale but we’re hopeful now that because they have had their rest that they are starting to pick it up again.”