Rival GAA clubs combine for fundraiser
BY JOHN MURPHY
WITH the long nights settling in, activity on the playing fields is muted, but fear not, because at Bandon GAA Pavilion on Saturday, December 3rd , a unique fund-raising event takes place that is guaranteed to pack them in, set the adrenaline flowing, raise the blood pressure levels a few decibels and shorten the drab winter months with copious levels of action and excitement.
Aptly titled ‘The Clash Without The Ash,’ it is a joint fund-raiser for Kilbrittain and Courcey Rovers GAA clubs. With Kilbrittain village less than five miles from Ballinadee and an identical distance from Ballinaspittle, the two next-door neighbours have built up a unique rivalry on the GAA playing fields. It stretches way back to the 1940s and ’50s, right up to 1975 when Courcey Rovers moved to the South East division.
As a consequence, the clubs only meet occasionally in adult county competitions, but even now there is always something special about these more recent clashes.
More importantly, both clubs have continuing ground development projects and financial commitments which are greater each year.
Courceys presently have excellent facilities while Kilbrittain are undertaking new developments having laid out a new playing pitch during the summer.
Earlier in the year Denis Ryan, Kilbrittain club chairman, approached John O’Donoghue, chairman of Courcey Rovers, to discuss a fundraising idea that would benefit both clubs. Drawing on the huge historic rivalry that exists, especially in hurling, both clubs came together to organise a boxing tournament night with proceeds to be distributed evenly between the two clubs.
This event will pitch twelve well-trained ‘boxers’ from each club, both male and the females, against each other in competition. There will also be exhibition bouts on the night. To conclude a disco will take place afterwards.
All taking part are presently undergoing an intense nine-week training programme under the guidance of Will Rosall and his assistant Eoin Irwin from KO Fitness. Main sponsor for the event is Nyhan Motors, Bandon.
The MC will be the irrepressible Paudie Palmer of c103. Tickets will be on sale locally in both parishes, so book early and avoid the rush, as a full house is expected with interest already coming from outside the Carbery region.
So it will be a case of Kilbrittain and Courcey Rovers GAA clubs renewing old rivalries – settling old sporting scores – on what should be a unique occasion.