IT’S been the season’s end now for a number of weeks for ladies football clubs around the county and thus it’s time to reflect on what was and what might have been.
Inch Rovers will certainly have no regrets as club officers prepare to compile their respective AGM reports for the virtual meeting on November 28.
Ten years after the club’s greatest day in winning the Al- Ireland Senior title, silverware is again becoming a common sight in this East Cork club.
In what was a quickfire condensed season, Inch Rovers secured a memorable county championship double in late summer, capturing both the Senior B and Junior Championships. For a club that has had its considerable peaks and troughs since first assembling 36 years ago, this year will certainly stand out as another one to remember.
Makeshift goalposts without nets and a container as dressing rooms in a local farmer’s field was the norm in those early days.
Now fortunate to have full use of Killeagh’s excellent GAA facilities, the club is operating on a much different level.
Apart from the aforementioned 2010 All-Ireland win against Carnacon on that never to be forgotten day in Cashel, Inch had proved themselves the dominant force of the domestic game on Leeside in the years previous, having actually gone all the way to the All-Ireland Final only to lose in both 2007 and 2008.
This double triumph in 2020 may not quite stand shoulder to shoulder with those heady days, but it certainly speaks volumes for the current depth of strength in the squad, who are under the guidance of hugely respected coach 'Dip' O’Connor.
One Of the club’s most decorated stars Annie Walshe was the star of the show, scoring nine of her side’s 12 points, as Lydia Williams captained the team in their Senior B Final win over St Val’s.
Emma Cosgrove was team captain as the Junior side followed a similar path a few weeks later, overcoming the challenge of Kinsale to complete a double on a 1-9 to 1-6 scoreline.
Sheila Dennehy is a name synonymous with Inch Rovers for the past 35 years. Since she was forced to retire prematurely due to injury, Sheila has served the club as team manager, coach and administrator across all age groups. As current chairperson, she is very proud of the 2020 double triumph.
“The players have been fantastic. They really bought into the shorter club season and made a huge effort. We have well in excess of 40 on the combined senior/junior panel, with a lot of very good young players.
“Crucially though the spine of the group is hugely experienced, as many of the players who were the cornerstones of our greatest days are still lining out today.
“Our juvenile section is also very healthy — we gained a lot of new members through the “Gaelic for Girls” initiative, a few years ago,” said Sheila.