Indeed it was a Mid Cork clean sweep at the prestigious Rockies tournament, with Éire Óg grabbing the Cashman Plate section of the Rockies event, which has been running since 2003.
Ballincollig occupied the top two slots in the 12-team/six-club round robin competition – 30 minutes per game with goals and points valued equally – which also featured Douglas, St Finbarr’s, Bishopstown, Éire Óg and Blackrock.
Yet it took every inch of skill and guts for Ballincollig to edge two outstanding sides from Barrs and Douglas in the semi-finals, with the Collig coming from behind in both matches
Patrick McCarthy, Darragh O’Mahony and Cian Ahern offered vital leadership from the back when it mattered.
Tadhg Murphy, who finished with eight points, and sideline specialist Kevin O’Leary led the attack in style for their teams, with Daniel Kirstein, scorer of some vital frees, Ciarán Duggan, and an all-action Danny Miskella excelling at midfield. Keeper Brendan Ryan, Cian O’Connor, Eoin Lynch, Aaron O’Flynn and Seán Richmond also made some key plays in the semi-finals.
The all-Ballincollig clash enabled all 37 of the squads on the day to a full half each in the final, which was a massive boost for Kevin Kirstein and his mentors. Olan Twohig and Daniel Walsh were picked as the captains for the day, as their families changed holiday plans abroad to be available, huge commitment to the Collig cause!
Éire Óg overcame Bishopstown in two tight Plate quarter-finals, where the tenacity of Adam Holland, Sean O’Brien and Darragh Sheehan was telling, with Sean Murphy and Kevin Beechinor firing massive late scores. They then saw off Douglas and the Barrs in the semis. Seanie Hurley was ice cool from placed balls, with Colm Sheehan, Cathal Murphy and Adam O’Mahony contributing in attack. The work-rate of Michael Sheehan, Andrew Bradley and Billy O’Shea was also key in setting up an all-Éire Óg final.
It made it a special day for the panel and their coaches Kieran Murphy, Mick Sheehan, Colm Óg Sheehan, Pat Beechinor and Jaens Straffan.