Liam O'Shea has been in deadly form guiding Lisgoold to county semis

Liam O'Shea has been in deadly form guiding Lisgoold to county semis

Former Midleton CBS forward Liam O'Shea has been in top form for Lisgoold this season, helping them to a county junior semi-final.

DESPITE the unscheduled break in GAA activity, Lisgoold hurlers remain fully focused on the delayed county junior semi-final against Duhallow standard-bearers Dromtariffe. 

After a groundbreaking inaugural divisional title in the Imokilly barony was captured, the focus quickly turned to county action, where they just overcame the very stubborn challenge presented by Inniscarra recently: 0-17 to 2-10.

While it was a first East Cork title, Lisgoold will rightly feel their star is rapidly rising, ala Russell Rovers. 

Last season, Lisgoold came very close to ousting Rovers at the quarter-final stage, but their neighbours accelerated all the way to a Croke Park All-Ireland final. Their form in recent seasons was good, a one-point loss to Seamus Harnedy and St Ita's in 2018 and preceded by a loss to eventual county champions St Catherine's in 2017.

Indeed Russell Rovers and Catherine's will meet in the LIHC final, whenever that takes place.

For all that, it took a late Liam O'Shea point in stoppage time to shake off Scarra's second team in the county quarter-final. 

O'Shea, who tallied eight points in the East Cork final, finished with 11 against Inniscarra in a match where Lisgoold's team manager Gerry Ryan admits that the opposition were physically stronger.

John Cronin, former Cork senior, is their best-known player, winning three counties with Imokilly having previously impressed with CIT.

"The result was the most important thing and we are still alive to fight another day," said Gerry Ryan. "Our group of players are very young and this experience will help them in their development. 

"There was no real flow in the match with tensions on both sides. We would certainly have preferred a game with more space. 

"Dromtariffe are next up. They will be very difficult again, in many ways similar to Inniscarra. We met one another in a challenge game only about a month ago and it was a very good match, so both teams know one another."

Lisgoold captain John Cronin turns to face his team with the cup. Picture: Howard Crowdy
Lisgoold captain John Cronin turns to face his team with the cup. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Off the field, Lisgoold have also made massive strides with a superb new complex including dressing rooms and a gymnasium as the high points of their recent developments. 

There is no doubt, this small village club is very much on the rise and with the youthful age profile of the current team suggesting a bright era looks on the way. 

There is certainly a visible determination among players and management in the junior set up that this momentum which has been built must be continued.

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