BLARNEY progressed into the semi-final of the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship on Saturday night courtesy of an excellent win over Valley Rovers.
This was a battle full of sheer high intensity. Scores came almost at a constant rate, with neither side holding back from the outset.
In the end, it was Blarney that proved to have that greater cutting edge, with the Mid Cork side have a group of well-drilled and slick hurlers.
Giving his reaction to the assembled media after the game, Brian Hurley of the Blarney management team said with pride on the significance of the club making it to the last four.
“It is massive. Everyone in Blarney has been tracking the progress of these players for a long time underage.
“They have all come in together now. This is a big deal now for everyone and it is a big deal for the club.
“The underage work that goes on I believe is second to none. That is the product of it there on Saturday night.
“We needed a big win like that, we needed to get into a semi-final. We know we will have it very tough in the semi-final.
“We are looking forward to it. We can’t wait for it now and we have two weeks to prepare for it now.
“Hopefully we will have a clean bill of health and we absolutely cannot wait for it.
“You take nothing for granted, Valley Rovers would have been favourites to beat us.”
Although that semi-final clash will be primary on the agenda, the signs are this is a promising period potentially for Blarney.
There are some good young hurlers in their ranks, the fruits of the labour from the underage ranks in the club.
“We have a lovely mix of youth and experience,” states Hurley.
“Some of the younger lads are some of the biggest we have physically There is a nice blend there and some nice competition for places, which we haven’t had in a while.
“It is the underage of Blarney that are producing players. We are reaping the rewards of it now. This is the culmination of it now.”
It is indeed a credit to the work which Blarney have been doing that they were ready for and successfully overcame the challenge of a rated Valley’s side, as they were last in action in this particular competition all the way back in April.
Mark Coleman needs no introduction to the Cork hurling fraternity, while the likes of minor duo Shane Barrett and Padraig Power and veteran warrior Joe Jordan are among those key Blarney performers.
All-round though, this is a hard-working side full of ability right across the pitch.