BARRY O’Neill is the new manager of the Erin’s Own senior hurling team.
He takes over from Martin Bowen, who has completed a three-year stint and who led them to the 2016 final, which they lost to the Glen by just two points. Erin’s Own were beaten last season by Imokilly, narrowly, after a replay, and have some talented young players, including Cork U21 and senior panellist, Robbie O’Flynn.
O’Neill is a former player with the club and was on the team that won the county title, for the first time in the club’s history, in 1992. In fact, he was the goalscoring hero in that final, against Na Piarsaigh, raising the game’s only green flag in their historic triumph.
Meanwhile, the status quo will prevail in quite a few clubs for the new season, with Ritchie Kelleher, Ian Lynam, and Des Cullinane remaining at the helm in the Glen.
The Blackpool outfit struggled in 2017, but a dip was inevitable, after they reached the previous three county finals and won two of them.
A similar situation will apply in Midleton, with Paddy Fitzgerald, Ger Fitzgerald, Terence McCarthy, Sean O’Brien and Peter Smyth staying put.
The Magpies haven’t got back to a county final since lifting the Séan Óg Murphy Cup, in 2013.
Mark Landers will be in charge in Killeagh again and he will be hoping to build on the great progress made by the club this year. They created the shock of the championship by ousting one of the title favourites, Douglas, and the club also reached the final of the U21 championship, before losing to Sars.
They will have Douglas for company again, next season, in the opening round, after the teams were paired together at last Sunday’s County Convention.
Meanwhile, it is expected that the city side’s dual ace Eoin Cadogan’s return to the Cork hurling fold will be confirmed very shortly.
He has been on football duty with the county for the past few years, but with a vacancy now in the full-back line, following the departure of Stephen McDonnell, he could well prove to be an ideal replacement.
Cadogan has struggled for fitness in recent years, missing a huge number of games for the Cork footballers and Douglas, but excelled on International Rules duty for Ireland, in Australia, lately.
Cork’s first game of the season under new manager, John Meyler, will be in Mallow on December 30, at 5pm, against Limerick in the Munster League.