Cloyne have work to do to challenge for Cork Senior A hurling glory

Killian Cronin and Donal Óg Cusack are at the helm of a young squad
Cloyne have work to do to challenge for Cork Senior A hurling glory

Conor O'Neill, Newcestown, challenges Paudie O'Sullivan, Cloyne, in last year's SAHC clash. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

CLOYNE selector Killian Cronin admits his team’s third seeding in this year’s Co-Op Superstores Senior A Championship is a fair reflection of their status.

It’s certainly a time of change for the team in black and red as they aim to take some positive steps in the coming championship season.

Favourites Fr O’Neills, along with Newcestown and Killeagh join Cloyne in a familiar-looking Group C. Last year Cloyne lost to Newcestown (2-24 to 3-9) but defeated Killeagh (0-24 to 0-18).

Last year also, the Cloyne/Russell Rovers minor combination, St Colman’s, were crowned champions of Premier 2 Grade, with Killian Cronin a driving force behind a group he has had under his tutelage since they were six. Interestingly, Donal Óg Cusack came on board as a coach last year and he will occupy a similar role with Cloyne in the season ahead.

“Our third ranking speaks for itself as to where we are in this grade. We are a small place and it swings around from time to time in terms of numbers in all smaller clubs. Our hope is that we will rise again over the next few years. It’s probably not a case of rebuilding, but there is definitely an element of a fresh start.

“This year we hope that a few of the guys that impressed in the minor team break onto the team,” said Cronin.

“Last year we did well enough for part of the match against Newcestown, but then didn’t see it through over the hour. They are a very good club, a tough championship team, in many ways similar to ourselves in terms of size. Fr O’Neill’s look like they are the team that has their rebuilding done and that can kick on again.

“Killeagh like ourselves will be hoping to upset the form book. 

Realistically, we would see it as progress to make the quarter-finals. 

"Every match in this championship is obviously going to be a real test for us but we are all looking forward to the challenges ahead. As it stands we have no news of any retirements. 

"Basically, the overall age profile is relatively young. Our job starting out this season is to try to turn things around, bring on the young lads and progress again.”

Whilst Cloyne may have a mainy youthful age profile on the field, there is experience off it. Apart from Cronin and Donal Óg, new manager Eoin O’Lomasney has summoned the Cahill brothers Philip and Maurice to duty to complete a quintet with an abundance of championship games behind them.

Their contributions could have a massive role in Cloyne’s journey against Fr O’Neills, Newcestown and Killeagh.

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