WATCH: Ballincollig's hurlers celebrated their county title victory in style

WATCH: Ballincollig's hurlers celebrated their county title victory in style
Ballincollig's James O'Leary wins the ball from Blackrock's Colin O'Leary. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THEY partied hard in Ballincollig after they captured their first adult hurling title since 1999 on Sunday.

After a tough tussle with Blackrock, the Village landed their eighth intermediate championship, with an interesting blend of rookies and veterans in the line-up.

They certainly had experience on the line, where manager Danny Dwyer was joined by selectors Tommy Weste, Donie Hegarty, Paul O’Connor and Don Walshe.

Despite having huge numbers, the Collig have had their fair share of ups and downs in the modern era as Weste explains.

“I only played in one county-winning team and I was on the sideline for plenty of defeats too so this was very, very special,” he said.

“I was thrilled to be asked to get involved, even though I’m seen as more of a football man. Danny Dwyer is incredible but you’ve Donie Hegarty as well and all he thinks about is the game.

“Don Walshe and Paul O’Connor, a Tipp man and a Na Piarsaigh man, who are living in the Village and are part and parcel of this club now.”

Scoil Eoin staff, past pupils and Ballincollig management, including Tommy Weste, far right. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Scoil Eoin staff, past pupils and Ballincollig management, including Tommy Weste, far right. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

They certainly weren’t afraid to make hard calls all year, with the team changing from game to game as needs required. That included three full-backs, in James O’Leary, Mark Prendergast and Shane Murphy, while forward Conor Kinsella stepped in goal when Ronan Cambridge broke his thumb.

“We have a serious squad this year. We used 26 players in championship. Robbie Bourke was struggling to get up earlier in the season and he was nearly Man of the Match in the semi-final and final.

Ballincollig's Robbie Burke shoots for goal from Blackrock's Elliott Cantwell.Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ballincollig's Robbie Burke shoots for goal from Blackrock's Elliott Cantwell.Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“He’s a fella, a young player, who just upped his ante so much. That’s what we needed. You’ve Rory O’Doherty then at the other age, wearing number 20 because he’s 20 years playing adult hurling for the club. He showed he’s a fantastic club man and he’s exactly who these young hurlers need to look up to.

“We had no starting line-up the same from our seven games. Conor Kinsella came into goal for the county final because Ronan Cambridge broke his thumb and he didn’t put a foot wrong.”

Daniel Walshe holding the cup with Ballincollig captain, Ciaran O'Sullivan and Daniel's dad, Don Walshe, Ballincollig selector, during a visit to Scoil Eoin. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Daniel Walshe holding the cup with Ballincollig captain, Ciaran O'Sullivan and Daniel's dad, Don Walshe, Ballincollig selector, during a visit to Scoil Eoin. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

While the likes of captain Ciarán O’Sullivan, centre-back Liam Jennings, attacker Cian Dorgan and former Cork minor Bourke are their best-known players, Weste believes success was achieved on the back of the collective approach.

“We had no superstar, even if Cian Dorgan was our go-guy for scores, and they all worked every single night at training. One evening we’d picked our 15 at a meeting in the Oriel and then after an A versus B game there were two changes. That’s the depth you need in a club.”

And they’ll need even more to push on at PIHC next season.

Ross O'Donovan clears from Blackrock's Paul Kennedy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ross O'Donovan clears from Blackrock's Paul Kennedy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

More in this section

Sponsored Content