WHILE the focus now is on the 2023 county championship, Carbery footballers marked their 2022 success at the Traveller’s Rest in Caheragh.
They were presented with their medals for winning the divisional/colleges’ section of last season’s county senior football championship and bringing back the Tadhg Crowley Cup, their first silverware since winning the championship in 2004.
Having experienced a run of defeats in the championship in recent years, Carbery, under the inspired guidance of manager Tim Buckley, embarked on a winning run in 2022 that saw them winning the divisional section and contesting the quarter-final of the championship proper. With a very young panel of players, this success gives great hope for the future and preparations are already underway for the 2023 championship.
The players, selectors and supporters were welcomed to the presentation by chairperson of the Carbery Board, Aidan O’Rourke, who congratulated the players on their great success, putting Carbery football back on the football map in Cork. Special guest on the night was Eileen Lyons, nee Crowley, of Clonakilty, a niece of the great Tadhgo Crowley and his nearest relative still living in Clonakilty. She presented the medals to the winning players and also special presentations to the management team. As well as the Tadhg Crowley medals, the players and selectors were also presented with photographs of the winning Carbery team.
‘As we move into 2023, it is important that we put a cap on 2022 and that is what tonight’s function is all about,’ said Carbery manager Tim Buckley.
‘This time last year it was being debated whether we would field a Carbery football team or not. That debate had been going on for some years as Carbery were beaten in the first round each year. We were lucky in 2022 that we had a very strong core of committed players led by Colm O’Driscoll and a few other lads.’
Buckley stated that prospects for 2023, building on the success of 2022, were excellent and a number of new talented players had come on board for the coming championship.
‘We are now in 2023 and 2022 is over. Look around the room and you will see young players like Conor O’Neill and Peter Collins. We have Damien Gore, Ryan O’Donovan, Dylan Scannell back from injury, Peter Murphy and the Bandon lads, all new blood wanting to play with Carbery,’ he explained.
‘We have been presented with a really tough challenge in the championship. In August, it’s going to be a really interesting time. To their credit every single player has responded by saying “bring it on”.
'They will be playing with their own clubs and will be asked to play with Carbery in between. It’s going to be really busy and there will be injuries and arguments about fixtures but every young lad wants to play matches, not just training.’
Because of winning the divisional/colleges section last season, Carbery will get a bye directly into the semi-final, possibly the final, in 2023, thus avoiding the preliminary rounds. The semi-final is scheduled for August 23rd/24th.
The panel of players who won Tadhg Crowley Cup medals with Carbery in 2022 included: Brian Everard, Dylan Scannell, Darren O’Donovan, Cormac O’Connor, Rory O’Connor and Olan Corcoran (all St Mary’s); Brian O’Driscoll, Colm O’Driscoll, Kevin O’Driscoll and David O’Connor (Tadhg MacCárthaigh); Cian Ryan, Seán Ryan and Dan Twomey (Ballinascarthy); Cian O’Neill, Seán Daly, Conor O’Neill and Peter Collins (Randal Óg); Ruairí Deane, Seth Thorton and Kevin Coakley (Bantry Blues); Kevin Keohane and Ógie Scannell (Kilmeen); Padraig Healy (St. Oliver Plunkett’s); Ben Murphy (St. Colum’s); Dave O’Sullivan and Dave Kiely (Barryroe); Ruairí Hourihane (Kilmacabea); Ronan Kennedy (Goleen); Ger O’Callaghan, Killian O’Brien, James O’Regan, Keith O’Driscoll and Paddy O’Driscoll Gabriel Rangers). Management Team: Tim Buckley (manager), Mícheál ‘Haulie’ O’Sullivan (coach), Seán O’Donovan, Jerry Dineen, John Dineen, Stephen Dineen, Pat Prendergast, Padraig Reidy (stats) and Jack Duggan (kitman).