Saturday 14 December 2019

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Cork Independent


Charleville bid for further glory

Wednesday, 14th November, 2018 4:45pm

Charleville vs Feakle
It’s been a brilliant few weeks for Charleville; they've won two football titles, Darragh Fitzgibbon picked up an All-Star, and they collected the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship.

Even more remarkable is the fact that five days after winning the county title they travelled to North Kerry, and after a shaky start, eventually produced the goods to see off Lixnaw.

All this means they now stand just 60 minutes away from another championship victory when they face Clare champions Feakle in the Munster Final on Sunday at 1.30pm in the Gaelic Grounds.

This represents another serious test of their credentials as Feakle are a strong and well balanced outfit, and after being relegated in 2017, they quickly regained their senior status and impressed when dismissing Clonea in the provincial semi-final.

Evan McMahon, Martin Daly, Eric Conway, Justin Nelson and Austin McMahon are just some of their key and experienced players.

It’s been a hectic period for Charleville but the manner in which they have handled the activity reflects well on players and management, especially Ben O’Connor, whose calm and guiding influence on the sideline is a key factor in their excellent run.

Darragh Fitzgibbon, of course, is also a key component of this team, and when the need was greatest in the county final and the Lixnaw win, the Cork star stood up and helped guide his team over the line.

Kevin O’Connor, Daniel O’Flynn, who will play, Jack Doyle and Jack Buckley along with the Cagney brothers, Andrew and Finbarr, have all made important contributions in all recent games.

A tough and testing hour ahead but one the newly crowned Cork champions are capable of surmounting and in the process add the Munster intermediate title to the junior crown won back in 2012.

Fresh from their win over Galbally, the footballers of Dromtarriffe return to Mallow for their semi-final clash with Waterford champions Mount Sion, a club more renowned for their hurling exploits.

Dromtarriffe mixed the good with the bad last week, and with Seamus O’Sullivan, Evan Murphy, Darren O’Connor, Jack Murphy, Dan Mann and Daniel O’Keefffe, they should have enough in hand to get over the line but a consistent 60 minutes will be required.

It’s a big day for Cloughduv when they head to Boherlahan/Dualla, who received a walk-over from the Clare champions in the quarter-final.

Cloughduv have really impressed in the county series, especially in the final when they held off a strong and robust challenge from Russell Rovers, and that will stand to them if it’s a tight contest.

Their side is well balanced with Eoghan Clifford, Joe Ryan, Brian Ahern, Brian Verling, Ger Ahern and James Moynihan anchoring their challenge.

Cork clubs have always done well in this championship, and particularly against the Tipperary teams, and this trend should be maintained.

Both of these semi-final games are on Saturday at 1.30pm.

There are two quarter-finals in Premier 1 as the board try and get this competition completed before convention but there are a number of complications, not least the hurlers’ trip to Boston, which will test everyone involved.

Blackrock and Valley Rovers meet in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday at 5.45pm, with the city side favoured to advance, while on Sunday at the same venue at 3.15pm, it's Midleton vs Na Piarsaigh and this one is hard to call.

This game is preceded by the Premier 2 semi-final at 1.30pm, Bishopstown vs Ballincollig, where a win for either would be a welcome boost.

Last week the members of Glen Rovers/St Nick’s said farewell to one of its favourite sons.

Mickey or the ‘Small Taoiseach’ as he was known, never played but the GAA thrives on the effort and work the people like Mickey do, day in and day out. In fact, Mickey did everything else; linesman, umpire, kit man, ticket seller, barman and much more beside.

For many years he represented our club as the City Division board delegate, in an era before mobile phones, Twitter or Facebook. Mickey never got a fixture wrong, juggling hurling and football games with amazing accuracy.

Mickey was made vice-president of the Seandun Board, an honour he cherished.

He was club registrar for many years and the first Sunday in February, the start of the junior and minor leagues, Mickey would be at the games and gently remind the players that you must pay your scrip or you cannot play, your status in the club did not matter, pay up and play, don’t and you won’t.

Mickey’s other task was a sombre one, when a member passed away, he would organise the flags for the coffin, the armbands, the guard of honour and the shouldering of the coffin.

Last week we had the task of doing for Mickey what he had done for years. The flags of Glen Rovers, St Nick’s and Seandun adorned his coffin, the armbands were there and it was with pride and a heavy heart we shouldered his remains from his house in Farranree to the church.

And we checked we all had our scrip paid, I think he would have approved.

Poor health meant he was inactive for a number of years, but he savoured the county wins of 2015 and 2016, and no doubt, he would have enjoyed the celebrations and our rendition of his favourite song.

Mickey had many friends who visited him regularly and as a club we thank them for that, especially Gerry O’Toole who was always with him and kept us informed of his health.

Sincere sympathy to his family and friends, the club has lost a legend who is gone but not forgotten.

Ar dheis dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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