Blarney coach pays credit to underage system for producing top hurlers

Blarney coach pays credit to underage system for producing top hurlers

Blarney joint-captains Sean Crowly and Peter Philpott raise the trophy after defeating Castlelyons in the Co-Op Superstores PIHC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

AS a coach and selector it doesn't get much better than when your team win a county final, especially by eight points against a top-class Castlelyons side.

As well as the win, Blarney played some outstanding hurling, with the likes of Mark Coleman, Joe Jordan and Shane Barrett in top form.

A fast start and a determination to gain a little revenge were two things that were in the minds of the side as coach and selector, Brian Hurley, said afterwards.

“It's a huge win for the club,” said Brian, “we are delighted with it. That's the culmination of 15 years work you could say, from people involved in the underage up over that time. The likes of Mark, Shane Barrett, Padraig Power don't just fall out of the trees.

“They are good and skilful players but people have worked with them since they have been seven or eight years of age and that's the case with the club over the years. You can see it any night you are there the people working with them and it has led us to this win."

Blarney's Brian Hurley. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Blarney's Brian Hurley. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Castlelyons had beaten Blarney in the group stages, with both clubs getting through to the final: Castlelyons too strong for Courceys, Blarney coming back to pip Ballincollig and then blitzing Carrigaline.

“We knew that this wasn't going to be easy and like we did against Carrigaline wanted to get off to a fast start to settle us down. We managed to do that and build up a lead by half-time.

“They got a point at the start of the second-half but we managed to work the ball down the pitch and Patrick (Crowley) fed Padraig and he doesn't miss too many chances like that.

“We felt if we could get a score like that it would put us in control, but as we expected they came back at us.

“But every time we looked like we were going to go a bit flat Mark stepped up and kept us going. They had beaten us in the group stages and we learnt a lot from that game and thankfully it paid off for us."

They deployed an extra man in defence, Cork U20 hurler Declan Hanlon using his strength to great effect.

“Declan Hanlon played in a deeper role for us and I thought he got on a lot of ball and set up a lot of our scores as well as helping to keep them out.

“We will enjoy this win and can look forward to playing at senior level next year,” concluded Brian.

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