Ballinacurra News

21 August, 2009

JUNIOR HURLING:
Things are finally settling down after all the excitement of last weekend when the men from the "Village" brought home the club's first every Junior B County Hurling Championship. Not only did Ballinacurra bring it home, they brought it home in style winning by the narrowest of margins on a scoreline of 4-12 to 1-20 against a gallant Randal Og team from the south of Dunmanway. Pairc Ui Rinn was taken over by supporters of Ballinacurra from the village and far beyond, all bedecked in the green and white hoping that the lads would do the business.

We have to say that if the preparations were anything to go by in the preceding weeks and months then no stone was left unturned in our quest to win the County. Martin Walsh used all his expertise and experience and left nothing to chance right from the very outset of the year. He was aided and abetted by the other selectors Colin Richards and John Power as well as the rest of the back-up team including Morgan Bailey, Jake Hegarty and Joseph Coppinger. The rest was left down to the lads in the squad and this time they were not going to leave anything behind.

After close calls in the previous two rounds we knew this game was not going to be easy. Randal Og made sure this game was not easy. They wanted this as much as we did. What evolved over the next hour or so was a game, that even seasoned journalists and commentators, much more so than I ever will be, called one of the best games at any level they have witnessed at county level.

From the Ballinacurra defence, we could see the skills that were on display from some of our own team mates from midfield forward. We knew no opposition would relish the opportunity of chasing down the likes of Scott Richards, Damian Daly, Trevor Costigan, Mossy Stack, Denis McCarthy and the two O'Briens, Kevin and Stephen. Allied to the brilliant fielding skills and ball striking of Brian Sigerson, Randal Og were going to have to be very very good defensively to hold out these guys. We know! We chase these lads around two or three times a week every week for ten months of the year. At the back the Ballinacurra defensive sextet were strong and reliable. Doing the simple things well and clearing ball when under some intense pressure. In the middle Trevor Richards and Ian Cahill were as strong as ever in front of the ever dependable Mark O'Sullivan, who was good under the dropping ball throughout the game. Down the flanks Steve Kane and Kieran O'Callaghan on the left and Tom O'Meara and Dave Fitzmaurice on the right were defending like their lives depended on it. We are not a fifteen man team though and the likes of Killian Harty who was carrying an injury, Phillip Twomey, Ritchie Keohane, Alan Creedon, Mike O'Meara, Tony Connolly and Tom Finnegan all played their part getting the team to the final and on the night itself. Men like Ollie Parsons, Mick Walsh, Noel Cahill, Denis Flynn and Eddie O'Brien all played their part too. This was a real all round effort by everyone who ever dreamed of the day that the "Village" would win a County. The same applies to the fantastic supporters who have followed us throughout thick and thin year after year.

And so it was to be. After what was a fantastic game to play in and a nerve wracking game for the mentors and I guess a thrilling game for the supporters to watch, it ended as we hoped with an historic win for the "Village".
What followed thereafter were scenes of joy not witnessed for a very long long time that carried on right throughout the night and over the following days. The realisation of what has taken place will not sink in for a while and will keep us all talking through the dark winter nights.
But before that there is a Munster Championship to be contested and there is no reason we can't achieve even more. Never say never. Anything is possible.
On a personal note, I will never ever forget the 15th August 2009 in Pairc Ui Rinn when we went into battle with the menfrom Randal Og and emerged victorious. The magical displays by Scott Richards and Brian Sigerson will live long in thememory, as will the heart and desire to win shown by every single man in a green and white jersey on what was a glorious night for all involved with Ballinacurra GAA Club.