Midway through his acceptance speech, CIT captain Kieran Murphy declared “we are back where we belong”.
Murphy, of course, was making reference to CIT having reacquired Sigerson Cup status, the Cork college making theirs a very short stay in the second-tier championship.
As a result of their relegation from the Division 1 League in November 2018, CIT were demoted from the Sigerson to the Trench Cup for the campaign just ended.
Winning manager Conor Kelleher said equally important as promotion back to Sigerson level was that the final year students on his team were leaving back the CIT jersey in as healthy a state as they inherited it.
“There are lads who are just after playing their final game for CIT. They can leave CIT with great memories of their time at the college and they also know they have contributed massively to what will be folklore in CIT in the not too distant future. We are thrilled to be back up to Sigerson and we will look forward to next year,” the manager said.
“CIT GAA development officer Keith Ricken said to the players in the dressing-room after the semi-final win over Dundalk IT that we had, in ways, climbed to the peak because we knew that Dundalk were the side to beat in many ways. And that is absolutely no disrespect to Mary I.
“Keith had an interesting stat for the players, he told them that more fellas get killed descending off the peak of the mountain than when actually scaling or ascending the mountain itself.
“It was a case of keeping our lads grounded [for this final]. But we know these lads and we know how hard they have worked. They had their eyes on nothing but the prize. There was a job to be done and they went out and did it. I am thrilled for them.”
Kelleher pointed to their two goals either side of half-time as crucial in putting significant daylight between the sides.
“The goals were massive for us. The second one, early in the second-half, killed them off in many ways.
“We’ve talked about when you get a goal that you must turn the screw, don’t lose focus or sit back, you must go for the next score. That is something we have impressed hard on the lads, and it showed there tonight.”
Football Show: The double yellow cop-out. Sin bin quirks. Protecting defenders too. Cork 2010 memories