Ballinascarthy aim to take down Carbery hurling champs Kilbree

Ballinascarthy aim to take down Carbery hurling champs Kilbree
Kilbree's Damien O'Gorman breaks away from Ballinascarthy's David O'Brien during the RCM Tarmacadam JAHC final at Ballinacarriga on Sunday.

BALLINASCARTHY and Kilbree will renew acquaintances in the Carbery Junior A hurling championship final in Enniskeane this Sunday at 4pm.

Kilbree edged out Ballinascarthy last year in the divisional final following a thrilling clash, while Scarthy are bidding for their first Flyer Nyhan Cup success since 2000.

Bal star man Ricky O’Flynn is looking forward to this Sunday’s derby.

“We only have a short week to dust ourselves down and prepare as best as we can. No complaints from our side as it would be a lot worse if we were out of the championship.”

Ballinascarthy who have won four divisional SW Junior A championship titles in their history defeated local rivals Clonakilty by six points in the semi-final.

“When our new manager came in at the start of the year the real focus was to get back to the divisional final.

“By reaching the final, it was always going to allow us get one foot inside the door of the county championship again.

“Whenever we play Clon there’s never really more than a few scores between us and it is completely down to who gets the vital scores at the right times.

“We have a new man Dermot O’Riordan at the wheel this year and he has brought a new spark and energy to the team. Brendan O’Driscoll had been with us for the previous three years and he had also helped us improve individually and as a team. He also deserves a special mention.”

Kilbree finished very strongly last season to eke out championship success. They subsequently embarked on a very strong run in the county series.

“Clonakilty and Kilbree have been the benchmark in this championship for the last three or four years so we are just happy to be there with a chance next weekend. There’s no doubt about it Kilbree are a very strong team and will be massive favourites heading into the match looking for their third win in four years. They are a credit to the Carbery division.”

The long-serving dual star only recently returned to competitive action. His return has been a huge boost to Bal.

“I picked up a bad injury against St Colum’s last year in the quarter-final. I suppose I’ve been very lucky throughout my career in not picking up too many bad ones so on the law of averages it had to come. So far so good with the recovery. Between Ray Moran and Declan O’Sullivan I received great guidance over the last 12 months and worked my way back into the panel slowly but surely.

“It was a long road, but injury is part and parcel of playing any sport. You just need to drive on and get on with it.”

Ballinascarthy are also enjoying a terrific football campaign.

“It is great to be back in a semi-final in the football again this year. We were in this same position last year and didn’t manage to capitalise, so we will be looking to go one step further this year.

“As far as I can remember we have always been a dual club and its great to get the chance to be competing in the business end of the season in both codes.

“Bar one or two players, nearly everyone is involved in both codes so there is a great buzz around the training ground at present.”

Kilbreen captain Don McCarthy is eagerly looking forward to the final showdown.

“We are delighted to be back in the final. Our aim at the start of the year was to make the divisional final. It will be a tough game.”

Don is full of praise for their opponents.

“Bal are a very fine team. They have a lot of talented players. They had a great win against Clonakilty. They are going well in both codes which means they are full of confidence. There is probably a great buzz in their camp.”

The stylish forward who was man of the match in last year’s final is proud to lead his beloved Kilbree team-mates in a final.

“It is a great honour. We have a great set of lads.”</p>

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