IBANE Gaels minor football coach Paul Holland was pleased his charges held off a strong comeback from Inniscarra following their Premier 1 minor championship encounter played in Timoleague recently.
Ibane Gaels who held a 13-point lead at the interval, repelled a gallant second-half revival from their opponents in 2-13 to 1-11 win. It secured the Barryroe-Argideen Rangers combo a home semi-final against Glanmire, with Douglas and Inniscarra on the other side of the draw.
“It was nice to get the win. We got the job done. Both sides had already qualified for the semi-final stages.
"As a result of our win, we have home advantage in the next round. It was a good result and there were plenty of benefits from the game.
A brilliant display from Cork minor footballer Ryan O’Donovan played a huge role in helping his side emerge triumphant.
The star forward recorded a personal tally of 1-10, 1-5 from play.
“He is a very good finisher. He still needs to work on other parts of his game. He is a very valuable player.
"The service he received in the Inniscarra game was also first-class.
"The Walsh twins, in particular, are great athletes and they provided all the forwards with quality ball.”
Unfortunately, the team will again be without the services of Cork minor Jack Lawton who recently sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury for the semi-final.
“He is due to undergo surgery next month. He is a huge loss.
"The game against Inniscarra was our first game without him.
"Hopefully his operation will be a success and he will be back playing again in the near future.”
Reaching the last four of the Premier 1 minor football championship represents a great achievement for Ibane Gaels who comprise of players from Barryroe and Timoleague.
“It is a great achievement to reach this stage.
"To be competing with the top clubs is great.
"The project started seven years ago. We were competing in the A and B grades.
"We have built up very slowly. We have a very talented squad. They are also competing in the Premier 1 minor hurling grade.
"We have hungry players. They are a joy to coach.
"There is great coaching going on at all levels within the clubs.”
He is looking forward to the semi-final clash against Glanmire.
“Our players are enjoying the journey. It will be a difficult game. We will prepare well. We are looking forward to it.”