THE Killeagh GAA Club grounds were full of proud supporters recently as they gathered to pay tribute to their five club players who played big roles in helping Midleton CBS win the Dr Harty Cup.
The five victorious players were afforded a huge welcome upon their arrival into Páirc Uí Chinneide. The Dr Harty Cup was paraded by the five players as they were embraced by their club colleagues and members of their community.
Killeagh Club PRO Patrick Mulcahy was thrilled with the reception they received. “It was great to get the five lads down because they have represented the club so well and everyone is proud of their achievement. The atmosphere was brilliant, especially for the U12's who were training in the ball alley.
"They got to see their heroes arrive with a cup. It is always something special for a young kid,” revealed the diligent club official.
Dylan Hogan, Olan Broderick, Ryan McCarthy, Ritchie Landers and Padraig Leahy are the five Killeagh players who helped Midleton CBS team capture the Dr Harty Cup for the first time since 2006. Dylan had the proud honour of captaining the famous East Cork secondary school to Munster championship glory.
Patrick is delighted the five Killeagh players have won such a prestigious hurling championship title.
“It is a great moment for the lads. This competition is one of the most fiercely fought across the country and toughest to win, because you are playing against some great players and teams.
"I suppose for Dylan Hogan, it is extra special because he was playing in the 2018 final, when they received a bit of a hammering from Ardscoil Rís. Before Saturday's game, Killeagh had just five winning Harty Cup winning players, now that is doubled to 10 after the recent success.
"It is great from a club point of view, because you know some great club people have had them through their hands at various points in their career and they can go on to prove themselves further on the bigger stages. It is great to have such ambassadors for the club as leading lights as part of the Midleton team.”
Patrick is confident that this very talented Midleton CBS team will go forward and enjoy more success both this year and in the foreseeable future.
“They have had so many good players through their hands it is surprising that have not won a Harty in the last 13 years. It is tough, but you do need a well balanced organised team. I do believe having seen them a lot this year, this is one of the special teams and they could go all the way for the Dr Croke Cup.”
The five players received a huge ovation upon their arrival into the Killeagh GAA Grounds. They deserve special praise for their historic year revealed Patrick.
“It was great to see the younger stars call down to meet and greet the lads on the night. Our current senior hurler Cian Fogarty, a member of the Midleton CBS Harty winning team from 2006 was also there and he shared his memories on the night with the lads from when he won the Harty Cup. It was a proud and historic night.”
Both East Cork and Cork hurling, in general, will receive a huge boost from this recent success by the Midleton CBS team in the Harty Cup acknowledged Patrick.
“The framework and pillars that have been put into the Cork schools over the last decade is now clearly paying off. The GDAs are doing so much work into the clubs as well. Teachers also deserve a huge amount of credit, as they give up their free time to go train the lads.
"In 2018, Imokilly retained their title, Fr O'Neill's beat Midleton in a thriller in the U21 Championship and Midleton did the league-championship minor double last year. When you have good players in the parish among you and they are making strides, others want to get to that level and it is getting stronger all the time.
"It is a huge boost for Cork hurling as a whole and hopefully these guys will go forward and represent the county in time.”
Patrick is confident the current underage players within Killeagh GAA will be inspired by the success of their five current stars.
“The underage academy is always growing in Killeagh. Hopefully, on the back of this success, the drive and hunger will be bigger than ever before to win more trophies in the coming seasons.
"These five players will hopefully enjoy strong careers with Killeagh. Obviously, if they want to get into the senior team, they will have to work hard over the next few years, but with the right attitude and hard work, these five lads will go further with their careers.”
There is great work going on within Killeagh GAA Club at present. Patrick is lavish in his praise for the voluntary work both club administrators and coaches are investing in the club.
“The time volunteers and coaches put in each week is immense. We have some great people in Killeagh who are leaders. They lend their great skills to the younger generation and hopefully, we can succeed off the back of this in years to come. Hopefully, the 2019 season will be more promising than the last and Killeagh will be going to the top of the pile very soon.”