Watergrasshill can be a force in 2021 PIHC hurling championship

Watergrasshill can be a force in 2021 PIHC hurling championship

Sean Desmond, Watergrasshill reacts first to this breaking ball from Caoimhin O’Coileain of Courcey Rovers during their Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship at Ballyanley, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

DESPITE not figuring in the last four of this year's Co Op Superstores County Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship, there are reasons to suggest that Watergrasshill can be a force in the competition over the next few seasons. 

This hotly contested championship always proves one of the toughest to win and whilst Blarney proved undoubted masters in 2020, there will be a host of clubs gunning to succeed them when the new season begins.

In the case of Watergrasshill, managed by Willie O'Leary, they were really impressive in their 3 group games this season, narrowly losing out on an automatic semi final spot, before being subsequently beaten by Courcey Rovers in the quarter final. 

There is certainly grounds for optimism going forward, a point echoed by club PRO Barry Joyce, who was re-elected at the club's recent AGM, held on an "incorporeal" basis as directed by Croke Park.

"Overall, we were very satisfied by the way the team performed. 

"Unfortunately the game against Courceys was our poorest show and it cost us. 

"We are however hoping to build on the positive experiences," commented Barry, whose roots might be in Kerry but whose home is now in this rapidly growing village.

"I am definitely a "blow in" with no hurling experience, but the GAA unites us all and the club is making a big effort to interact.

"Our club is certainly on the up, with huge numbers now in the juvenile section and many players beginning to break through. 

"We have been delighted to see Shane O'Regan and Dáire O'Leary line out with the Cork Under 20 team. 

"This year was also very significant in that the club won the Rebel Og Division 2 Final, which was a major step forward. 

"We have a very good structure at under age level which is helping to bring players through the ranks."

 Daire O’Leary, Watergrasshill going highest against Martin Collins of Courcey Rovers during their Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship at Ballyanley, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan
Daire O’Leary, Watergrasshill going highest against Martin Collins of Courcey Rovers during their Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship at Ballyanley, Cork. Picture Dan Linehan

With those soaring numbers on the way from the younger generation, facilities are now coming into the spotlight.

"It's now our priority to work with what we have and make the best possible use of the existing space, by means of adding maybe an all weather facility and an extra training area. 

"We will also be looking at upgrading our dressing rooms in the initial phase of this plan. 

"Down the road, the possibility of land purchase to cater for those growing numbers will again receive serious consideration," concluded Barry.

Joining Barry at the top table of the club executive is new chairman Kieran O'Keeffe, vice chairman - Don O'Riordan, secretary - Jennni Fuohy, assistant secretary - Claire O'Leary, treasurer - Niall O'Riordan and development officer - Dan Linehan. 

All concerned will feel those excellent championship wins over Valley Rovers, Ballinhassig and Ballincollig, allied to the aforementioned minor win and coupled with Feile success last year is enough evidence to suggest that their club is certainly going to make an impact in this decade.

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