Jennifer O'Leary v Nollaig Cleary is the standout tie in Best of the West Last 16

May 23rd, 2020 4:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

In the last 16, we'll see Cork camogie great Jennifer O'Leary up against Cork football legend Nollaig Cleary.

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WOW! What a last-16 Best in the West tie this is going to be, as West Cork’s greatest ladies’ footballer Nollaig Cleary has been paired against West Cork’s best-ever camogie player Jennifer O’Leary. These are two of the greatest sportswomen we have ever seen but only one can advance from their last-16 tie next Thursday, May 28th, and the power is in your hands.

Best in the West is the search for West Cork’s greatest sportsperson, with Access Credit Union, and it gets underway next Monday morning, May 25th, with the first of our last-16 ties. We have, after much deliberation and many arguments, settled on our 16-strong shortlist of local sports star who have shone on the national and international stages in the last 50 years, between 1970 and 2020.

From here, we held a last-16 draw on the Star Sport Podcast this week to decide the pairings. This is a straight knock-out competition, one West Cork sports star against another, with the winner advancing. As we move through the various rounds, last-16 to quarter-finals to semi-finals to the big final, eventually one will emerge – and they will be the Best in the West.

This competition will be run on Twitter polls on sports editor Kieran McCarthy’s Twitter page (@KieranMcC_SS), with polls opening at 10am in the morning and running until 2am, so there is a big window to vote. In the event of a draw, a 30-minute poll will be held at 9am to see who advances.

Click here to check out the profiles of the 16 shortlisted sports stars.

The last-16 is packed with mouth-watering battles, kicking off when Bantry Blues and Cork football great Declan Barron takes on Leap road bowling legend Bill Daly next Monday morning.
On Tuesday, it’s hurling supremo Tim Crowley versus football legend Graham Canty. The following day, Keith Cronin battles against Conor Hourihane. Then on Thursday it’s the standout tie of Cleary versus O’Leary.

On Friday, May 29th, Ireland’s best-ever rower Paul O’Donovan takes on Cork City FC legend John Caulfield before Castlehaven’s Niall Cahalane faces off against three-time Rugby World Cup star Laura Guest. Beara football legend Kevin Jer O’Sullivan is pitted against the world’s best hockey goalkeeper David Harte on May 31st, before jockey Noel Fehily looks to outsprint Irish speedster Phil Healy past the finishing line.


Monday, May 25th: (1) Declan Barron v Bill Daly

Tuesday, May 26th: (2) Tim Crowley v Graham Canty

Wednesday, May 27th: (3) Keith Cronin v Conor Hourihane

Thursday, May 28th: (4) Jennifer O’Leary v Nollaig Cleary

Friday, May 29th: (5) Paul O’Donovan v John Caulfield

Saturday, May 30th: (6)Niall Cahalane v Laura Guest

Sunday, May 31st: (7) Kevin Jer O’Sullivan v David Harte

Monday, June 1st: (8) Noel Fehily v Phil Healy

The quarter-finals (1 v 2, 3 v 4, 5 v 6, 7 v 8) start on June 5th.


Best in the West is brought to you in association with Access Credit Union. Access your money 24/7 from anywhere in the world with an Access Credit Union Current Account and enjoy all the benefits while keeping your money local. Visit their website:

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