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Carrigdhoun managerial merry-go-round in full swing

February 14th, 2024 10:30 AM

By Southern Star Team

Carrigdhoun managerial merry-go-round in full swing Image
Kieran Kingston has taken over as manager of the Tracton hurlers.

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CASTING an eye along the row of hurling managers in the Carrigdhoun division, the experienced line-up will provide plenty of entertainment for the hurling fraternity.

The most eye-catching is the return of Kieran Kingston to his home parish of Tracton. The former Cork supremo has returned to his native parish following what's believed to be an SOS, following their drop from the county junior A competition to the South East junior A championship for the coming year.

While some have already pencilled Tracton in as red-hot favourites to win the South East, current champions Belgooly will have something to say about that. Leading Belgooly from the line will be former All-Ireland medal winner Seanie McGrath, who is also responsible for overseeing the Cork minor set-up, but he feels the split season will more than adequately allow him to take on both roles.

Admitting that the retention of any championship is a tricky proposition, McGrath said, 'It will be a good test for himself and the team.'

The club has a relatively small panel, but he feels Belgooly is not alone in this, with other clubs around the county working off similar-sized panels.

Courcey Rovers will again fly the flag for the division in the higher echelons of the county championship, with Sean Guiheen returning as the manager. Having spent a year in Ballinhassig, where he said he would like to have achieved more, he described his former charges as great lads and wished them all the best for the coming year.

On returning to Courceys, Guiheen said,' I had two great years with them previously. I was always going to go back at some stage. It's a great challenge, and I look forward to working with them again.'

The premier A hurling intermediate grade will see four local clubs vying to reach the senior A status, with Valley Rovers, Ballinhassig, Carrigaline and Ballymartle all in contention on a good day.

Valley Rovers have retained the services of Michael O'Sullivan, who has a talented bunch of young hurlers to choose from. Ballymartle's Noel Sheehan stays in the top manager's job in Riverstick, following a steady performance in last year's championship, beaten by a surprise package in Kilworth at the quarter-final stage. In a group that plays host to neighbours Ballinhassig, Sheehan said, 'I expect there only to be the hop of a ball in the championship, and fine margins can take you from the knockout stages to a relegation battle.’

Incidentally, Ballinhassig and Ballygarvan, who share the same parish, have yet to name someone to fill their respective hot seats.

Carrigaline will want to forget about last year when their footballers fell from the top table of Cork football, and their hurlers only managed to survive the drop with a clinical victory over Bandon in the premier intermediate grade play-off. Having signed up Kerry resident and former Bishopstown resident Eddie Murphy, Carrig will be hoping he can bring some of the success he brought to Ballymartle in 2011 when they lifted the All-Ireland intermediate hurling championship. 

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