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2014 GAA Highlight Beginning of a new era in Carbery hurling

Tuesday, 30th December, 2014 3:07pm
2014 GAA Highlight Beginning of a new era in Carbery hurling

History makers: The Carbery minor hurlers with the trophy after their victory over Aghabullogue in the Premier 2 minor hurling final at Páirc Uí Rinn.

WHY do we feel so guilty in picking a memory from 2014 that had great personal satisfaction for us?

Usually, we feel we have to list out memorable moments that mean something to everybody, not to be so greedy in our choice, but for once we’re going to buck the trend.

Yes, there were some marvellous general moments like the Munster final win for Cork hurlers but overall, the inter-county scene was a damp squib for Cork supporters. The sight of two country teams giving us a great county senior football final is something we’ll remember and Newcestown making it through to the county premier hurling final was not before time.

The first senior game between Carbery Rangers and Castlehaven was a real humdinger, just what we want our championships to be, but in truth, there were few spectacular memories.

So we have plumped for our personal one this year. Finding myself on the dole for the year as regards hurling in Clon, bar the most enjoyable U6 Saturday mornings sessions, we took on the job, with David Whyte of Ahán Gaels, and Fergal Keohane of Kilbrittain, of piecing together a Carbery minor hurling team to play in the county premier 2 hurling championship.

An attempt the previous year had fallen by the wayside due to lack of interest all round, but 2014 was to prove so different. From early training sessions with only six players to the county title is a story that would take a lot of telling. How the pride in the Carbery jersey had to be built from scratch, a panel put together with the best hurlers at our disposal, some never taking part, getting the pace of their hurling up to premier level, working on the basic skills, convincing the players they were capable of holding their own with any team in premier 2.

Then there was the hassle of getting the clubs onside, not clashing with club fixtures, finding time for training or challenge games.

Slowly but surely it all began to come together with a marvellous bunch of 28 totally committed players and championship wins followed over Blackrock, St Colman’s, escape from the dead that day, Charleville and unbeaten Courcey Rovers in the semi-final.

When we set foot on Páirc Uí Rinn for the county final against a flying Aghabullogue side, there was a great sense of pride at having brought this new Carbery team so far, and, yes, a great feeling of personal satisfaction too.

To just be there was marvellous, to dream of winning was too much to even contemplate against a team that had looked a class act in the semi-final, but win it the lads did, putting into practice everything we had done in training.

The perfect result, the perfect display, a triumph for all those underage mentors and clubs in Carbery who had produced these fine young players.

It was said there was no hurling west of the Viaduct but that evening we proved them all wrong.

Now as we try to build on that marvellous victory, to begin a new era for Carbery hurling, this time in Premier 1, we will cherish forever the great pride those lads showed in the Carbery jersey and in themselves as hurlers.

Unforgettable and memorable.

Carbery minor hurling panel 2014: Conor Madden, David Kiely, Eoin Lawton, Cathal O’Donovan (Ibane Gaels), Luke Murray, Cathal Nyhan, Eoin O’Brien, Colin Crowley, Sean O’Donovan, Niall O’Driscoll, Sean Ryan, Daniel O’Brien (Pedlar’s Cross), Kevin O’Donovan, Gearóid O’Donovan, Brian Everard, John O’Sullivan (Ahán Gaels), Liam O’Brien, Damien O’Gorman (Kilbree), Joe O’Mahony, Timmy McCarthy, Jonathan Mulcahy (St Brogan’s), Josh O’Donovan, Patrick O’Mahony, Darragh Moore, Dylan Twohig, Ian Hodge (Kilbrittain), Aaron Hayes (St James), Martin Collins (St Patrick’s), Jamie Carroll (Sam Maguires).

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