Cookies on The Southern Star website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Southern Star website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does The Southern Star use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don’t sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • Sport

West Cork hurlers shine on big stage

Saturday, 12th August, 2017 4:00pm

Story by Kieran McCarthy
West Cork hurlers shine on big stage

Western Rebels: Ciarán Nyhan (Ballinascarthy), Sean Twomey (Courcey Rovers) and Ronan McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s) celebrate after Cork’s All-Ireland U17 hurling final win in Croke Park on Sunday.

THERE was a very definite taste of West Cork in Croke Park last Sunday as the Rebels won the very first All-Ireland U17 hurling final.

Cork held off the late advances of Dublin to record an historic 1-19 to 1-17 victory, and there playing important roles were three players from west of the viaduct – full back Ciarán Nyan (Ballinascarthy/Owen Gaels), midfielder Sean Twomey (Courcey Rovers) and first-half blood sub Ronan McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Owen Gaels).

This was Cork’s first national hurling championship win in Croke Park in 12 years and it’s hoped that the county’s seniors and minors can follow in the footsteps of John Considine’s talented U17s.

‘It hasn’t sunk in, to be honest,’ Cork full back Ciarán Nyhan admitted.

‘We knew that Dublin are a very good side and that they are very organised.

‘We played them twice in two challenge games this year and we didn’t beat them – we drew with them and lost the other by a point.

‘Going in Sunday we knew what we were up against, we always knew it was going to be very close.

‘John Considine always tells us we are at our best when we are under pressure and we showed that again, especially in the second half.’

And that’s exactly how this inaugural All-Ireland U17 final turned out, as Cork led 1-9 to 1-8 at the break, stretched that lead to three points in the third quarter (1-14 to 1-11), with Daire Connery, Colin O’Brien and Declan Hanlon combining for 0-14 throughout and Joe Stack grabbing a first-half goal.

Dublin were reduced to 14 players after 41 minutes but they kept chipping away at Cork’s lead. But Rebel sub Owen McCarthy helped himself to two points, as this young Cork team delivered an All-Ireland title.

‘It’s amazing, to think that we have this reward after four years of training. We were originally training for the Cork minor panel for next year but then the ages were changed – but winning on Sunday felt just as good as a minor would,’ Ciarán Nyhan said, as a new wave of West Cork hurlers make an impression on the big stage.

‘Luke Meade (Newcestown) and Michael Cahalane (Bandon) have proved that even if you’re from West Cork it’s still possible to play at the highest level.

‘If you go through the underage squads you’ll find players from clubs all across West Cork, which is good to see. There are a lot of good young hurlers in West Cork.’

Clonakilty Community College student Nyhan (17) has been part of the hurling development set-up since his U14 days, and now the Bal teenager and his inter-county team-mate Ronan McCarthy are targeting more silverware closer to home with Owen Gaels in a Rebel Óg West minor A hurling championship semi-final.


Cork: Daire Connery 0-6 (5f), Colin O’Brien 0-5 (3f), Declan Hanlon 0-3, Joe Stack 1-0, Blake Murphy, Owen McCarthy 0-2 each, Cormac O’Brien 0-1.

Dublin: Liam Murphy 0-7f, Eddie Gibbons 1-1 (1-1 pen), Lee Gannon, Billy Ryan 0-2 each, Enda O’Donnell, Tom Aherne, Mícheál Murphy (1f), Mark Grogan, Kevin Kirwan 0-1 each.

Cork: Eoin Davis (St Catherine’s); Eoin Roche (Bride Rovers), Ciarán Nyhan (Ballinascarthy), Ronan Sheehan (Mallow); Cormac O’Brien (Newtownshandrum), Conor O’Callaghan (Dromtariffe), Aaron Walsh Barry (Carrigtwohill); Daire Connery (Na Piarsaigh), Sean Twomey (Courcey Rovers); Tommy O’Connell (Midleton), Declan Hanlon (Blarney), Brian Roche (Bride Rovers); Blake Murphy (Na Piarsaigh), Joe Stack (Castlemartyr), Colin O’Brien (Liscarroll Churchtown Gaels).

Subs: Ronan McCarthy for Cormac O’Brien (blood sub 23-30), Owen McCarthy (Inniscarra) for O’Connell (35), Shane Barrett (Blarney) for Murphy (52).

Dublin: Eddie Gibbons; Andrew Dunphy, Kevin Burke, Tommy Kinnane; Sean Kinsella, Enda O’Donnell, Lee Gannon; Tom Aherne, Mícheál Murphy; Kevin Kirwan, Billy Ryan, Mark Grogan; Luke McDwyer, Kevin Desmond, Liam Murphy. 

Subs: Sean Clerkin for Desmond (44), Liam Dunne for M Murphy (52), Mark Sweeney for Kirwan (54).

Referee: John Keane (Galway).

Stay up-to-date with the latest West Cork news with a Southern Star digital subscription on your phone, tablet or computer. Click here for more.