Bandon hurling ace Crowley picks up major award for his excellence at Croker

Bandon hurling ace Crowley picks up major award for his excellence at Croker
Lancashire's Ronan Crowley scores a goal despite Paul Earley and goalkeeper Declan Molloy, at Croke Park. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

BANDON club hurler Ronan Crowley was honoured for his brilliant inter-county season with the Lancashire senior hurling team when he was named in the ‘Champions 15’ team.

Crowley was also named the Lory Meagher player of the season following a series of great display and the Bandon received his awards at the recent All-Star gala banquet.

“It is a nice honour to receive on an individual basis. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make up for losing another Lory Meagher final following a last minute goal. It was a great feeling when I heard the good news.”

He was recognised for his outstanding performances from his corner-forward berth with the Lancashire senior hurling team who reached the final of the Lory Meagher Cup. Ronan and his team-mates suffered anguish however as they succumbed by one point to Leitrim in an enthralling final which required extra-time

Crowley struck 1-9 during the Lory Meagher Cup final, with 1-5 coming from play. However, he is still distraught following their second successive cup final defeat.

“It is a very nice achievement to win the two awards. It means a lot to me. It is great recognition after a good season from a personal point of view. It is also very nice for Lancashire GAA to be recognised especially after we lost the final.”

Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

He was joined by his proud parents at the annual All-Star awards ceremony.

“My parents were able to join me at the ceremony which meant a lot to me. They have been a huge support to me. We had a great night. It’s a brilliant ceremony to attend. The GAA and GPA put in a huge effort for it, so it is brilliant to be a part of it. It is fantastic to be mixing with the best players and it’s good to see them in a different light.

“We’re all used to watching them on TV, so it’s good to see them enjoying themselves and letting their guard down a bit.”

He was delighted to represent his beloved Bandon GAA Club at the All-Star ceremony. The ace forward is indebted to a variety of club coaches who have helped him develop his game down through the years.

“It was great recognition for Bandon GAA. It was a privilege to represent the club. They are a great club. Having played with Bandon for over 20 years, I’ve been very lucky to play under some exceptional coaches.

“Without the underage coaches that give up their Saturday mornings, it is highly unlikely we would have ever played senior hurling with Bandon.

“Playing senior club hurling in Cork is a step above Lory Meagher so that has benefited me hugely.”

The Cork native initially moved to the UK to pursue his academic dreams three years ago. Crowley immediately began playing GAA in Manchester and he quickly emerged as one of the best players on the Lancashire senior hurling team.

He is still based in Manchester.

“I can’t wait to get back training and playing with Lancashire. The league starts in January so it won’t be long coming around.

“Despite an unsuccessful league campaign last year at a higher level, it was brilliant for us beating the likes of Roscommon who play in the Christy Ring Cup.

“Hopefully, we can get over the hurdle of winning the final. Unfortunately, it won’t be easy. For us to even reach a final is a huge achievement. Playing in Croke Park is an unbelievable experience. It would be great to get back there again and experience the thrill of winning there. Losing there is not a nice experience. We are determined to work hard and enjoy success next season.”

He still combines representing Lancashire along with playing hurling and football with his beloved Bandon.

“I am still living in Manchester. It is very easy to come home with the availability of flights, so I never get the chance to miss home too much. We are all terribly disappointed with how this year finished with the club.

“We feel like we underachieved after a good win over Newcestown in the first round. It will be interesting to see how the new format plays out. We will be aiming to get ourselves back to the top grade of senior.”

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