Cashman's cup... a family tradition of county glory is maintained in Blackrock

Cashman's cup... a family tradition of county glory is maintained in Blackrock

Blackrock player Niall Cashman breaking away from David Noonan, Glen Rovers. Picture: Dan Linehan

CASHMAN is a surname synonymous with hurling success in Blackrock and beyond.

At Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Niall and John Cashman were vital cogs as the Rockies collected the Seán Óg Murphy cannister for the first time since 2002. 

The sons of All-Ireland winning Cork hurler Jim, centre-back when the Rebels won the double in 1990, 25-year-old Niall had a stormer at wing-back, while John, 23, came in to shore up the defence when the game was on the line and didn't put a foot wrong. 

Their uncle Tom Cashman was one of the most stylish Cork hurlers of all-time, their late grandfather Mick Cashman was a great goalkeeper for club and county, while their granduncle Jimmy Brohan is another Rockies legend.

"Well, we've a bit to go to catch up with his medals!" joked Niall about his famous father's numerous achievements.

"He doesn't put any pressure on. He just wants to see myself and John doing well, he encourages us and it's great to be able to talk to him about games too."

The Rockies led for long spells, eventually shaking off Glen Rovers in extra time, though they were under pressure in the closing stages of normal time, levelling with the last puck.

"Those last 10 minutes were something else. It seemed they had the momentum but we managed to get the couple of points to force extra time.

"We played Midleton a few years ago in a semi-final and in the last 10 minutes we were lumping ball into the forwards and it wasn't the way to go. This time we trust the process, as they say, we kept trying to work the ball to the fella in the best position, whether that was long or short."

Ann Cashman with the Seán Óg Murphy Cup and her four grandsons, Alan and Gavin Connolly, Niall and John Cashman. Picture: George Hatchell.
Ann Cashman with the Seán Óg Murphy Cup and her four grandsons, Alan and Gavin Connolly, Niall and John Cashman. Picture: George Hatchell.

While Niall Cashman is well-established at this juncture, two 19-year-old rookies Alan Connolly and Robbie Cotter shone on the big stage. Alan Connolly, and goalkeeper Gavin Connolly, are also members of the Cashman dynasty. 

"Alan was involved last year, though he was still a minor then, and he's been so consistent all season, from frees and in terms of getting goals. Robbie was with the intermediate team in 2019 and he's stepped up to senior hurling without a care. He's a classy hurler."

He explained their squad depth, as well as the unseen work of Stephen Casey and Barry Corkery behind the scenes, had them primed.

Niall Cashman of Blackrock celebrates with the trophy. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Niall Cashman of Blackrock celebrates with the trophy. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"The panel we had, let alone the subs, who came on. There are a lot of lads who would be starting with any other team. The format of the championship suited us and Stephen Casey deserves a lot of credit that we were able to go through extra time two weekends in a row.

"Barry came in for four or five sessions. We'd had a sports psychologist in 2017, when we got to the county final and it was good to have an outside voice again. Look it's not even about him talking, he's just getting us to talk and the impact he made was a confidence-builder. He was in for the first championship game and we had a chat with him as well during the week.

"It wasn't about changing anything for this, but just believing in what we've been doing up to now, concentrating and sharpening your focus."

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