WHILE Dromtariffe put in an impressive performance to regain the Duhallow Junior A Hurling Championship title, they now face a major test against city champions Brian Dillon's.
Team manager John Howard expressed delight with the manner his side coped with the task on hand to defeat Kilbrin and add to their initial title won in 2018.
“We hurt last season when Newmarket turned up big time to give us a lesson and forfeit our crown. In fairness, we regrouped well, a tough year, given the pandemic situation but we were hopeful of competitive action and undertook zoom sessions during the lockdown,” he said.
“Earlier in the year, we brought in a physical trainer Niall McCarthy, he has made a big difference, our coach John Linehan is fantastic, bringing the side to a new level and building from the work of Thomas Mahony from Meelin who guided us to make the hurling breakthrough in Duhallow.”
However, new challenges lay ahead and Howard is relishing the opportunity of his side testing their wares in the county championship on a quarter-final clash against Brian Dillon’s.
“That’s a big test, Brian Dillon’s are amongst the front runners on a regular basis and they will bring a wealth of experience.
“The county is open season, anything can happen, on winning a Duhallow title, its right to enjoy a few days but we will be putting our shoulder to the wheel on attempting to make further inroads,” he said.
2018 proved a rewarding season for Dromatariffe, not only did the club add a new name to the roll of honour in Duhallow hurling, but they also regained a hold of the county JAFC and progressed to a Munster final.
Still, some disappointment when the hurling side failed to negotiate the opening round to the JAHC on a defeat to Ballinascarthy.
“Naturally, the standard of competition rises out in the county, two years ago, the games came thick and fast for our young players operating in two squads.
“That schedule caught up with the dual involvement, hopefully, we know what’s involved to make headway in a competitive county hurling,” said the Dromtariffe manager.
Reflecting on the divisional final, Dromtariffe threw down the gauntlet from the outset, their teamwork and deft stickwork helping secure a 0-19 to 0-7 advantage at the break.
“19 scores in a single half is hard to pull back for any opponent, that was our motto from the outset. Previously, we had been slow coming out of the blocks in many games and we sought to rectify that scenario,” said Howard.
“Of course, Kilbrin would rally and they netted two goals in the second half. Hurling is a funny game of twists and turns but if a team starts and finishes well, normally, they win and so it proved for Dromtariffe,” he said.
In the other two county junior hurling games taking place this weekend, Clonakilty take on Kinsale and Lisgoold face Inniscarra's second team.