Rising Randal Óg star Sean Daly the pride of Ballinacarriga after Cork U20 Munster hurling final win

May 21st, 2023 5:00 PM

By Matthew Hurley

Randal Óg turned out in force to support clubman Sean Daly in the Munster U20 HC final. Kneeling, Killian Hurley, Gearóid Daly and Peter Collins. Front from left, Séamus Crowley, Marina Hayes, Patrick Collins, Seán Daly, Gabrielle Crowley, Kevin McCarthy and Gavin Daly. Middle from left, Pádraig O'Sullivan, Donnacha Collins, Daniel O'Sullivan, Mike Hurley, Gerard Collins and Don McCarthy. Back from left, Dan O'Sullivan, Aidan O'Sullivan, Daithí O'Brien and Martin O'Sullivan.

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SEAN Daly is keeping Randal Óg GAA Club in the headlines – he is their first Munster U20 hurling champion.

Rising star Daly – the only Carbery representative on the Cork U20 hurling panel – picked up a provincial medal on Monday night as the Rebels beat Clare 1-23 to 1-21 in the Munster final at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.

‘It's huge. I've been around this club for a long time and we've never witnessed this,’ said a delighted Randal Óg hurling manager Ger Collins.

‘The crowd from Ballinacarriga that went to see Sean in the round-robin campaign and especially Monday night was incredible. There was even a former player from the club travelling down from Galway with his family just to see Sean.’

It’s another medal to add to his growing collection. Daly was a key figure in his club’s Carbery junior B hurling championship success in 2022, winning the man-of-the-match award in the final against Kilbree after scoring 0-9. He is quite the footballer too, and played a big part in Randals’ run to the quarter-finals of the 2022 Carbery JAFC. Add to that, he was involved in the Carbery divisional football side that won the Tadhg Crowley Cup in 2022.

Daly is a star in the making in both codes and is the pride of Ballinacarriga at the moment. Even the small things like the team announcements meant a lot for the West Cork club.

‘It was a unique situation hearing the name Randal Óg being called out in the stadium. I've been going to Cork matches all my life and I didn't know what it sounded like. It was nearly emotional. It's a big thing for the club, there's no doubt about that,’ Collins said.

Daly is a determined player who never gives up; it’s one of his many strengths.

‘I was involved with Sean all throughout underage. The funny thing was, he wasn't a standout early on. He did it all himself. His love for the game and his thrill for getting better. From an early age, you'd see him going to the pitch on his own with a full bag of sliotars, he'd puck them all out the field, around 30 or 40 sliotars and he'd puck them all over the bar from different angles. He made himself brilliant,’ Collins said.

Seán Daly with John Collins, Randal Óg, who won a Fitzgibbon Cup with UCC and was also a Cork minor in 1992.


Daly has played almost everywhere on the pitch, corner-back for Cork and midfield for his club and UCC in the Fitzgibbon Cup.

‘UCC was a huge stepping stone for him this year. To make midfield at such a young age in college, that's inter-county standard. I would actually say that Fitzgibbon is tougher than U20 is. People finally started looking at him,’ Collins said.
It is easy to see why the Cork U20 management team and Randal Óg rate him so highly.

‘If you want to know why Sean stands out, just watch him,’ Collins added.

‘His bravery is unbelievable and his determination is just endless. There is no holding back. When I was an underage coach, I often worried saying he’s getting outplayed this time. They’d be big fellas coming out and Sean would go for the ball. He would plough into it as if there was nobody there.

‘I’m convinced if you talk to Ben O’Connor or any of the Cork selectors, it would be the one aspect that stands out at training with Sean. That’s what makes him different from the ordinary player. They are qualities you can’t coach and it has carried him a long way.

‘He’s the most humble young fella you could ever come across. All he wants to do is to play hurling and get better. I think he is the perfect example to any young fella if they just watch what he does.’

For Randal Óg, who has risen continually over the last few years, it’s a great time for everyone involved.

‘Sean doesn’t realise how pleasing it is to the club. The place was full of his club mates on Monday night. When you have a jewel in the crown, you’re going to follow that,’ Collins said.

‘We never had a medal like this, a fella to bring home the silverware at the highest level. We’ll all be at the final cheering him on. It’s a privileged time for us as a club. We love supporting Cork but it’s a beautiful bonus to have your club represented. We’re on top of the world for him and wish him all the best in the All-Ireland,’ Collins concluded.

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