College hurlers hope to grab their chance by taking out Imokilly

College hurlers hope to grab their chance by taking out Imokilly
UCC's Sean O'Donoghue wins the ball from Sarsfield's Eoin O'Sullivan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

NOW that they have reached the last four of the senior hurling championship, UCC will spare no effort in trying to bridge a gap of 48 years since they last took possession of the Seán Óg Murphy trophy.

That’s the view of GAA Development Officer John Grainger ahead of their clash with holders Imokilly on Sunday at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, where they should have a full squad available.

“Eoghan Clifford played with Cloughduv this week while Mark Coleman lined out with Blarney and Cha Terry has a game with Aghada on Friday night. We haven’t been in a semi-final for a long time and now that we are there we’d love to get into a final.’’

Grainger says the players involved realise now the opportunity that lies in front of them. The College last made the final in 1999 when Joe Deane led the attack in black and red.

“They went all out in the games against Erin’s Own and Sars and they’ll do the same on Sunday.

“We know what we are facing, a very strong and well constructed Imokilly side that have already proved their credentials.

“The work is being put in down in East Cork, starting in the schools and that is having ripple effect upwards. You have to admire that and it’s being shown at junior and intermediate level.”

Imokilly's Shane Hegarty and William Leahy close down Newcestown's Jack Meade. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Imokilly's Shane Hegarty and William Leahy close down Newcestown's Jack Meade. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The three Castlelyons players who were marked absent for Imokilly’s win over Newcestown in the quarter-final are back in contention to return to the starting 15.

Colm Spillane, Colm Barry and Niall O’Leary didn’t feature two weeks ago but are fit for this clash. Seamus Harnedy, Bill Cooper and Brian Lawton will backbone the side.

Imokilly selector Sean Harnedy said: “UCC are a quality team, they have already knocked out two of the fancied contenders for the title in Sars and Erin’s Own and we know that we will be up against it here.

“I would say that we need to improve by another 20% here from that game because look at the personnel in this UCC team.

“Ten or 12 of them are inter-county players, you have Darragh Fitzgibbon, Mark Coleman, Conor Gleeson and Tom Devine, that’s just four and they are a team with a lot of pace and this is going to be a massive test for us.’’

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