It's a pity Imokilly's excellence wasn't rewarded with a Man of the Match award

It's a pity Imokilly's excellence wasn't rewarded with a Man of the Match award
Bill Cooper would have been a worthy Man of the Match for Imokilly in beating the Glen. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

AT the conclusion of any major game one question always pops up, who was the Man Of the Match.

Over the past number of years, we had the Rearden’s Award which was a hugely popular event on the Monday after the big game.

Since the popular Washington Street premises came on board you had Eoin Quigley, Graham Callanan, Patrick Horgan, Ger Millerick, Conor Lehane, Seamus Harnedy and Daniel Roche being selected for the award, all worthy winners.

Rearden’s were not involved this year and as a result there was no Man of the Match award, which was a pity.

The award is something that generates a lot of debate among fans and there is usually a disagreement or two surrounding the selection.

Anyway, there wasn’t anything official last Sunday but that didn’t stop the question being posed.

Imokilly came out on top for the third year running and it was inevitable that if there had been an award one of their players would have been the recipient.

So who was our choice for the accolade?

We’ll boil it down to five: Colm Barry, John Cronin, Bill Cooper and Deccie Dalton and Seamie Harnedy.

At different stages over the hour that quintet played their part.

Barry was rock solid at full-back, Dalton nailed a big goal from a free when he might not have been expected to go for it.

This fellow’s confidence levels are sky-high at the moment and it was a huge moment in the game coming so soon after Donal Cronin’s sublime goal at the other end which had given the Glen huge impetus.

Harnedy clung a great goal which was set up by Paudie O’Sullivan after a Glen defensive mistake and he posted two big points too in a game of tight margins.

So that leaves us with John Cronin and Bill Cooper.

John Cronin.
John Cronin.

The Lisgoold clubman Cronin is one of the most under-rated players in the county and also one of the most consistent as he has been for Imokilly over the past few years.

He was excellent again last Sunday in the number seven jersey as was Cooper in the middle of the field.

His industry throughout the course of any game is something else and he has been a major figure in this team for the past two years.

He secured some fine points too last Sunday and proven once again his worth to any side that he plays on.

It is difficult to separate these two but if we had a vote last Sunday, Cooper would have been the choice with Cronin a very close second.

A bit further down the road we’ll try and select a team of the championship, something that Rearden’s were involved with as well.

The situation here will be that the two finalists from last Sunday will dominate the selection with a few players nailed on.

One or two from the beaten semi-finalists will have to be considered too and maybe a few from the earlier rounds.

Just as a teaser we’ll select the goalkeeper and that choice will be Cathal Hickey from the Glen.

A puck-out last Sunday might have went astray but over the course of the campaign and particularly against Newtownshandrum he was ultra consistent.

Deccie Dalton will be on the team of the championship too as will Bill Cooper while Rob Downey from the Glen showed us why he will be a big player for Cork going forward.

Selecting the best games from the campaign might be worth doing too when the pitches will fall silent.

It is, of course, the last championship as we have known it with a brand new format being introduced next season, two groups of 12, one up and one down.

There are pros and cons attached to such a format and there is the possibility of some dead rubber games.

But the clubs gave the thumbs up to the format and it is worth a shot.

Very much a case of nothing, nothing gained.

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