CARBERY senior hurling manager Jerry Ryan is hoping to pick from a stronger panel for Friday night’s county senior hurling championship Round 2B clash against Ballymartle at Ballinspittle (7.30pm throw-in).
The Carbery divisional team was well beaten, 0-23 to 0-6, by Glen Rovers in their opening game at the end of May, and under the new championship format they have a chance to get back in the race this Friday night when they take on a Ballymartle team that lost to Avondhu (0-20 to 1-15) in round one.
Carbery boss Ryan was vocal in the aftermath of the loss to the Glen that the division didn’t have the pick of its best players for various reasons, but he is hopeful of fielding a stronger team this Friday, with David Lowney (Clonakilty), Mark Sugrue (Bandon), Conor O’Driscoll (St Oliver Plunkett’s) and John Michael O’Callaghan (Argideen Rangers) expected to line out.
‘We should have a stronger panel but whether we will have, I won’t be able to answer that question until Friday,’ Ryan said, while admitting that the team has got together once since the loss in the first round.
‘We don’t have much done to be honest, apart from a challenge game on Monday night, which we lost, but all the players would have played a championship match with their club since we lost to Glen Rovers.
‘We didn’t get together for the simple reason that all the players were involved with their clubs in the various championships over different weekends, so if we got together it wouldn’t have been with everyone which wouldn’t be ideal. The first available opportunity was Monday night, and while we were beaten, we did okay. At least we got together.’
Ryan expects a tough test this Friday against a Ballymartle side that he rates: ‘They were unlucky to be beaten in the first round by Avondhu, they are a good club side, they reached the semi-final stage a few years and they were also unlucky not to win a county U21 title a few years back as well – they should have beaten Duhallow in a semi-final, and they went on to win the county. It won’t be easy for us, we know that.’
Considering the low ebb Carbery hurling was at only a few weeks ago in the wake of the 17-point hammering inflicted by the Glen, Ryan wants a spirited performance against Ballymartle that can breathe life back into the divisional set-up at a time when it’s struggling to reach its potential.
‘A performance would be good for us on Friday night, if we get that then we have a chance of getting a result, but if we don’t play well then we haven’t a chance,’ Ryan said.
‘To be honest, the same enthusiasm isn’t there for clubs wanting their players to play for Carbery as it was before. Before clubs would give out if their players weren’t included, but that’s not the case nowadays – everyone wants to look after their own interests first.
‘It’s not just the clubs however, it also includes county board and divisional boards too. There is a fixture problem there, the boards are trying to get through all the fixtures, and if clubs have fixtures to play around the same time a Carbery team is playing, then they don’t want their players playing for Carbery.
‘Ideally, if everyone sang off the same hymn sheet, it would work better.’
Friday, July 1st
IHC Round 2A
7.30pm St Finbarr’s v Glen Rovers, at Páirc Uí Rinn
SHC Round 2B
7.30pm Ballymartle v Carbery, at Ballinspittle
IHC Round 2A
7.30pm Kildorrery v Ballinhassig, at Rathcormac
Saturday, July 2nd
IHC Round 2B
3pm Barryroe v Ballincollig, at Bandon
IHC Round 2A
4pm Dungourney v Aghabullogue, at Church Road
County JFC C semi-final
4pm Ballinure v Goleen, at Rosscarbery
County JBHC quarter-final
4pm Belgooly v Balllinacurra, at Cobh
Sunday, July 3rd
IHC Round 2B
7pm Inniscarra v Midleton, at Caherlag
County JBHC Round 3 replay
6pm Bantry Blues v Randal Óg, at Aughaville