Preview of St Colum's v St Mary's in the South West junior A hurling championship
St Colum’s v St Mary’s,
Sunday, May 24th,
12 noon in Dunmanway
AFTER contesting the final against Dohenys in 2013 much was expected of Colum’s last season but they lost to Mathúna’s in the quarter-final. Their main concentration seems to be on football at present and their first round defeat by Bandon won’t help the hurling preparations.
Strong and competitive, they are still very dependent on the same group of players over the past decade, with Seán O’Shea, Diarmuid Thompson and Alan O’Connor still back -boning the side.
Young talent is scarce at the moment, the minors having amalgamated with Bantry in the championship but Eddie O’Sullivan and Ben Murphy should be included. Selectors are Pat Cronin, Jimmy O’Sullivan, Teddy O’Mahony and Dan Hurley and they share the training between them.
In the league Colum’s had good wins over St. James and Mathúna’s but lost heavily to Plunkett’s
St. Mary’s are another dual club whose football exploits in recent times have taken from their hurling. Since contesting the county junior B hurling final in 2008 they have failed to make an impression at junior level, but have been successful at U21.
Last season they were beaten by St. Colum’s and Kilbrittain. They can call on established players like Brian McCarthy, Jason Collins, Michael O’Driscoll, Peter and John Daly to drive on the side.
A surprise defeat by Castlehaven in the junior football has put pressure on training time for the hurling. Brian and Ciarán Everard are up and coming minors who could make a strong contribution. The selectors are Tomás McCarthy, Gerard Long and Anto Quinn, with Tomás doing the managing and training. League performances are fair, winning one and drawing one, a cracking 2-21 to 4-15 clash with St. James last time out, from three outings.
Prediction: With both sides having aspirations in football but having to negotiate the losers’ group, it is hard to call this hurling clash but St Colum’s look the stronger side on paper and should advance.