NA PIARSAIGH senior hurling selector Bill Kelleher believes that the correct decision was arrived at in the recent proposals put forward by the Cork County Board to change the complexion of its county championship schedule.
Kelleher was speaking in the aftermath of his side’s hard-earned win over Killeagh in the opening round of this season’s campaign at Pairc Ui Rinn last Sunday.
“We were happy at the decision. That’s the one we went for, Option A. We looked for a bit more information from the board which we got and we were quite happy with that.
“Clubs are suffering, majorly suffering because intercounty managers dictate now what is happening.
“Cork needs to get the championship up and running the way it was. The Cork SHC is one of the best.
“If you look at the way it was, you were playing again next week if Cork lose, that was your fixture so you prepare for a championship game.
“If Cork win and your match goes off for six weeks so what do you do, you have to try and balance it up.
“We play now and we don’t play again until July. We have a bit of certainty now. Is it acceptable, I don’t know, we all like to be playing on days like this but we have to accept what they are throwing at us.
“Of the options that were there, I think it’s the best one for a club player.’’
On the win over Killeagh, he was happy enough with how things had panned out for his players.
“Fair dues to Killeagh, they put us to the pin of our collar but here’s a couple of stats that people might not realise.
“We had five minors starting there today that played in the 2017 county final. The bottom line here is, they are a very young team but we know that they can hurl and we were happy with the determination that they showed.
“Killeagh put us to the pin of our collar but we’ll take the win as it comes after last year.
“But going forward there’s a lot of work to be done. People might say that the real championship does not start until July but you want to get over the first round in April and have your few months now that you can relax and play your league games.
“I can’t stress enough how young this team is and of our six forwards, the eldest is Padraig Guest who is 23.’’
Kelleher was delighted too with the response to the Killeagh goal which made it a one-point game.
“Our full-backs is very experienced and they actually kept us in the game to be fair to them “We had wides but to be fair, they had too but I am just very happy at the end of this to have got over the first round.
“The footballers won their first round too and as I said, the wheels came off the cart last year.
“We put a new management team in place, John Gardiner senior came in, Liam Martin and others too.
“We are up and running but there’s a lot of work to be done yet.’’