THE contrast of winning and losing was very evident at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday as Midleton players and mentors celebrated in style as the Ballyhea players dropped to their knees in anguish.
Winning a final by the minimum is always a delight as the Midleton manager Gavin Power praised both sides' effort.
“We knew coming here today that nothing less than a powerful display wouldn’t be good enough and I think I was proved right in the manner both sides went to battle,” said Gavin Power.
The Midleton boss thought the game was a credit to both sides in the sporting manner it was played as no yellow cards were flashed over the hour.
“It was a credit to both sides as the hurling was exceptional and it’s just a pity that there had to be a loser as I would have been gutted to be on the losing side of this gripping game,” added Power.
The mixture of youth and experience of both sides made this game a belter of excitement according to Power.
“Both sides had a good mixture and that set the game for a thrilling encounter as you could see the contribution of Neil Ronan for Ballyhea and our own Padraig O’Shea.”
When many clubs in the city and county can struggle for numbers with adult teams that’s certainly not the case for Midleton.
“There were 33 players on the panel and in 2021 we have five adult teams and that’s a sign of the depth we have in our club.
“We have plenty of talent in the club but to me you only get out what you put in and these lads trained very hard to win this championship.”
One would think that winning the B hurling championship wouldn’t mean much to a hurling powerhouse like Midleton but their manager had a different view.
“We won the Imokilly semi-final against Castlelyons last August and didn’t play the east Cork final until June but to be crowned champions in July makes it all that bit sweeter.”
The mood in the Ballyhea camp was naturally one of sheer disappointment as selector Eamonn Morrissey praised the efforts of his team.
“When you lose any final by one point it's very disappointing but I have to say this is a tight group of lads that put in a serious shift but sadly it wasn’t to be for them today,” said Morrissey.
“We couldn’t fault the effort out there today and all we can say is congratulations to Midleton on a sporting game.”