Regions Cup manager Gerry Davis took time to praise the ‘monumental effort’ his squad put in to make it back to back European finals for the Irish amateurs.
The Regions 2 outfit emulated the Regions 1 side of 2015 by reaching a final thanks a brilliant win over the Czech representatives on Friday morning and a Russian comeback against Spain.
Davis, who has praised his side for the effort in difficult conditions after their previous two group clashes, was delighted post the result and took time to thank all involved.
“After the final whistle I thanked all the players, staff and officials for the monumental effort to get here. We’ve worked so hard to cope with the conditions and every single person involved has contributed,” he said before reflecting on the game.
“The Spanish were 2-0 up so we knew we needed to score goals. We felt that realistically we’d need to score at least three to start with and we changed our approach a little and pressed them a bit higher.
“We had a goal disallowed after about 50 seconds when Kevin O’Connell had the ball in the net and we weren’t exactly sure why it was disallowed.
“The goal from Stephen Kelly came from a routine we’d worked on. The delivery was excellent from Jimmy Carr and the header was excellent. The goal we conceded was against the run of play but we took the punch and bounced back.
“David Stack did well in the second goal when he sent through Kevin O’Connell who showed good skill to create the chance for Eoin Hayes to stick it away.
“Eoin’s second goal was a great finish from another great pass by Jimmy Carr and we then heard the news from the other game and that the Russians had turned in our favour. Jimmy finished one off himself. It was great performance overall.”
Davis admitted the team hadn’t time to take the achievement in fully as of yet and when things have settled he will turn his attentions to what will be Ireland’s third Regions Cup final appearance.
“We’re just trying to get our breath back. The players are all in recovery mode. The players were in the cold pool an hour after the game.
“We’ll look at the few knocks and niggles then turn our heads to a European final on Sunday.”