Glen captain Moylan: It's great Cork hurling refs are letting the game flow

Glen captain Moylan: It's great Cork hurling refs are letting the game flow

Brian Moylan of Glen Rovers in action against St Finbarr's Robert O'Mahony, Colm Keane, Brian Hayes, Stephen Sherlock and Jack Cahalane in the opening round win at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

IT'S been a club season like no other, yet it's heading for a familiar conclusion for Glen Rovers' Brian Moylan.

The ultra-reliable centre-back is ready for the club's fourth county final in the past six seasons, while they also reached the hurling showpiece in 2010. 

Blackrock await on Sunday at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 4pm, in a tasty city derby that is being shown live on TG4.

The Glen faithful can't wait for the chance to regain the Seán Óg Murphy Cup, which they captured in 2015 and '16, though the build-up isn't as feverish in this Covid-19 world.

"The week gap doesn't give the place a chance either. Even Maureen below in the shop would usually have two weeks to get organised. It's a pity for the supporters, not being able to go to matches.

"Even after other county finals, you'd meet fellas you hadn't seen for years or even people from other clubs who just love going to the Cork county final."

For the 33-year-old, it'll be about playing the game not the occasion this weekend. The group's experience will help.

"We worked so hard to get to the county final in 2010. It was the biggest thing ever. 

"Now it's our objective every season. We never talk about it, just game by game, and worry about ourselves because we know what's expected in the club.

"Everyone's mindset would have been that it was a disappointing year if we didn't get to a county final, especially after losing last year to Imokilly."

They were given a fright under the floodlights in the Páirc by underdogs Erin's Own in the semi-final, who grabbed three goals and led at the second-half water break.

"You can't take anything away from Erin's Own, they tore into us and in fairness to Simon Stokes, he let the game flow. Go back to Munster championship games over the last few years and it's a very different game when refs from other counties are reffing. 

"You get away with a lot more aggression but that's not much good to Cork club players when you're trying to adjust for the first 20 minutes.

"Cork refs are letting more go at the moment and long may that continue."

Glen Rovers’ Brian Moylan and Kevin Maher of Borris-Ileigh battle last winter. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Glen Rovers’ Brian Moylan and Kevin Maher of Borris-Ileigh battle last winter. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

The four-week gap since completing the group unbeaten seemed to leave the Glen a bit flat.

"You'd wonder alright if it's a reward to be the top seed because if you look at Limerick and Tipperary, clubs were caught after going straight through to a semi-final."

Whatever about that tricky scenario, Moylan fully endorses the 'split-season' approach.

"It's a no-brainer. What club players were doing was madness. Going back training in the muck in January for the sake of one game in April and the real championship starting in August.

"No club would mind if they'd to play a full league without their inter-county players but then have a proper championship format without any interruption in the second half of the year.

"When you've Rob, Hoggie and Maccie around... It brings some intensity to training."

While Patrick Horgan, Robert Downey and Stephen McDonnell have worn the Blood and Bandage in senior championship, Moylan didn't progress beyond two years as a Cork U21. He's regarded as one of the most consistent defenders in the club game on Leeside, so does have any regrets about not pushing on at inter-county?

"Gerald McCarthy called me in for a couple of trial games. Denis Walsh had me in. I had chances and it didn't happen. It's not something I think about. 

Glen Rovers defender Brian Moylan wins possession. Picture: David Keane.
Glen Rovers defender Brian Moylan wins possession. Picture: David Keane.

"Growing up I wouldn't say it was a lack of ambition to hurl for Cork but it was always about playing senior and winning county with the Glen. If you ask Hoggie, Maccie or Downey they'd tell you the same. The commitment they give to Cork is phenomenal but the determination they come back to the club with is unbelievable as well."

There's no shortage of dedication in Blackpool, manager Richie Kelleher and coach Ian Lynam have been driving the Glen on for the bones of 15 years.

"It's a testament to them that they can keep a bunch of players motivated. There are only a few years they weren't involved with us. Some going."

With the minor cup in 2005 after beating Carrigaline. Picture: Howard Crowdy
With the minor cup in 2005 after beating Carrigaline. Picture: Howard Crowdy

Moylan captained his club to a minor county, in 2005, and at U21 in 2008. Now he hopes to emulate Graham Callanan at senior. 

Blackrock are a serious threat. The teams met in a challenge back in the summer but they haven't clashed in the championship in the modern era.

"They've a very good team, a very good panel really. A lot of underage success and it's no surprise at all they're back in a county final.

"Our preparation will stay the same. We're lucky that way because we've been in a few finals. You can come down after a semi-final fairly fast then."

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