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Things are looking up for Muintir Bháire

May 24th, 2024 4:30 PM

By Sean Holland

Things are looking up for Muintir Bháire Image
Muintir Bhaire's Jack O'Driscoll gets his pass away under pressure from Tracton's Dan O'Flaherty during the McCarthy Insurance Confined JBFC tie at Enniskeane.

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AS Muintir Bháire look forward to an all-Carbery clash with Goleen in the McCarthy Insurances Confined junior B football championship this weekend, their manager, Brendan O’Mahony, has spoken of his side's aspirations to get back up to junior A.

‘That is the long-term goal, to get back to junior A,’ the Muintir Bhaire boss said.

They are on the right path to achieving that target, as wins against Tracton and Glengarriff in Group 2 have already booked the club a quarter-final place with one game to spare in the group stage.

This Saturday evening in Ballydehob (5pm), it’s a local derby clash with Goleen to see who will take the top spot in the group, and O’Mahony knows his side are in for a battle against last year’s West Cork junior B champions.

‘We'll be showing them respect, they're well experienced and it will be a tough one for us,’ he said.

It has been a tough stretch for Muintir Bháire having been relegated from the junior A grade in 2021. With low turnouts at training and matches, and players going abroad for work, it has been difficult for the team to progress.

‘It was very tough. We had a couple of fellas a few years ago that left to go to America. It has been a struggle then to make a team,’ O’Mahony said.

But, encouragingly, things are looking up for Muintir Bháire, both with results on the pitch and numbers at training and matches.

‘We have about 22, 23 players. It's the best we've had in a long time,’ the manager remarked. ‘We've put in a fair bit of effort this year. We have a good turnout at training. We've won two championship games which is also a big positive. It’s a young team with a few older lads. We have a few fellas over the age of 30, about five or six, and the rest of them, they're very young.’

One player who has returned to the team and played a key role in their recent upturn in success is Teddy O’Donovan. Along with being the focal point of the attack, O’Donovan has kicked 1-2 in the championship to this point. O’Mahony has hailed his influence this season.

‘He's a big asset to us. He hadn't played for a couple of years, but he's very good. Teddy’s experienced and has helped steady the ship up the front,’ O’Mahony said. Along with O’Donovan, Ben Egan and Jack O’Driscoll have impressed in the scoring stakes, kicking 0-9 each in the two games so far.

As they prepare for their clash with Goleen, Muintir Bháire remain focused on the task at hand but the long-term goal of returning to the junior A also remains. O’Mahony knows the challenges they will face to achieve that, both on and off the field.

‘That is the long-term goal, to get back up to junior A. Our lads, maybe, need a couple of years to get experience. And if we can hold on to them. You can't stop fellas either if they want to go in and see different parts of the world, they have to make a living, too.’

With a rejuvenated squad and renewed determination, Muintir Bháire will hope to continue their upward trajectory this weekend.

Meanwhile, in Group 3, Clann na nGael and Garnish have both qualified already for the quarter-finals and their clash in Bantry on Saturday will decide who gets top spot.

McCarthy Insurance Confined Junior B FC fixtures this Saturday, May 25th: 5pm, Clann na nGael v Garnish in Bantry; 5pm, Deel Rovers v St Catherines in Buttevant; 5pm, Doneraile v Lismire in Liscarroll; 5pm, Glengarriff v Tracton in Kilmichael; 5pm, Goleen v Muintir Bhaire in Ballydehob.

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