The Paudie Palmer column: Pitch perfect city division hurling final for Passage

Our columnist looks at the defeat of Plan B for the football championship and the Seandún JAHC at Ballinlough
The Paudie Palmer column: Pitch perfect city division hurling final for Passage

The Passage team celebrating their victory over St Vincent's in the BCE Consulting Engineers Seandun JAHC final at Ballinlough. Picture: David Keane.

ALL that was missing from Croke Park’s Special Congress last Saturday was a few Brexiteers to declare that the Yes side had won.

Back in 2016, those who wanted out went for a simple majority. They got it: 51.9% to 48.1%. Saturday, the Yes crowd got 50.6% as against 49.4 against.

A Brexit simple majority would have pushed it over the line. The question now: will there be a lá eile? The only advice from this corner is to go for it while the iron is hot.

Not sure if many of you are into serious debating, in so far as you might have attended debating competitions.

Normally, as a sop to the defeated side, the best speech award goes to a member of the losing side. I am not implying that it was a sop here, but from a Rebel point of view, it was pleasing to note that the most impressive contributor to last Saturday’s debate was Kevin O Donovan, CE of Cork County Board.

Basically, the reason the proposal didn’t get the 60% required was, and not in any order:

The Ulster says no crowd. Can you imagine a Fermanagh contributor acknowledged that they hadn’t won an Ulster title yet and they have had over 100 years to do so.

But that doesn’t mean the Gaelic brothers who occupy up to a third landmass of this county, that when opening their morning eyes, they face the world driven by the dream 'someday we will'.

The Stockholm Syndrome is alive and well. 

The second reason was the crowd who harboured the fear of finishing sixth of the Division 1 league. Galway and Mayo came straight out and declared that their votes would be on the No side.

The Dubs and Kingdom instructed their delegates to listen to the arguments and then make up their mind. Well, you have a fair idea, how that went.

Finally, the fact that it was a secret vote. I presume you have heard the term, “I wouldn’t trust him/her as far as I would throw him/ her”. Need I say any more? I honestly can’t see, why they had to use the secret option.

On to more important matters. No sooner was the ink was dry on last week’s offering where Yours Truly was critical of the City Board’s decision to run their junior A championships on a knockout basis, the delegation officer from the local radio station requested that I attend last Sunday’s City junior A hurling final.

Criticism

By the way, I still standover that criticism. I got the impression that the aforementioned radio producer felt that the experience could benefit my well being.

Anyway, I was in no position to argue!

The only instruction was to leave early as parking in around the Ballinlough venue, I was informed, can be a bit of a nightmare.

Advice taken, but shortly into the journey, I found myself in a convoy. Up front was a vintage orange tractor who was bringing up the rear of the field in a charitable tractor run.

The clock was ticking, I didn’t want to end up being chased around Ballinlough by a Shrewsbury Downs resident waving a golf club/tennis racket for illegal parking. A decision had to made; the 15-year-old Peugeot with NCT issues had to don its formula one mode and take out the orange vehicle.

On passing, and despite he being drenched, I noted this is a man at the wheel who was in total happiness belting along at 10 miles an hour on his pride a joy. Having secured the elusive parking spot, on showing the identification badge to gate security, I was waved past.

The first observation was the size of the audience, the contest that was about to unfold had to mean something.

Both Passage and St Vincent’s were unbeaten and their league meeting ended level. Passage had never won this competition and St Vincent’s last hauling home was over 60 years ago.

The press facilities, though simple, were perfect, a miniature dugout. Thankfully, the Weather Lord was in a benevolent mood.

Despite the absence of a saxophone, the pre-match parade was an uplifting and positive experience.

The pitch, compliments of Cathal Brown, a young man, who cuts the grass on a voluntary basis, was as perfect as any pitch could be with all the rain that had fallen.

His first cutting on Sunday was at 8.30am and as this was the second match of the day, he gave it a light trim prior to throw-in.

In his well-delivered acceptance speech, the winning captain Ronan Harrington made mention of the enormous contribution of the turf volunteer.

 Seandún chairman Michael Higgins presents the cup to Passage captain Ronan Harrington after they defeated St Vincent's in the BCE Consulting Engineers Seandun JAHC final at Ballinlough. Also included is sponsor Mike Boyle of BCE. Picture: David Keane.
Seandún chairman Michael Higgins presents the cup to Passage captain Ronan Harrington after they defeated St Vincent's in the BCE Consulting Engineers Seandun JAHC final at Ballinlough. Also included is sponsor Mike Boyle of BCE. Picture: David Keane.

Details of the game itself, have been already well documented by others from this parish.

Goals by Shane Howard and Cian McCarthy inside the first four minutes put Passage in control.

Nine minutes there was only a point between them, primarily, due to the flag-raising efforts of former Cork U20 footballer Blake Murphy. That was as good as it got though for the Northside outfit.

Four further goals by the harbour representatives and the attachment to history was complete.

Now for them, the next step is the county journey. They face a Ballinascarthy side-coached Vincie Hurley, a former Courcey Rovers player, the weekend after next.

It can be another step in the evolving dual journey for this community-based club.

Yes, I am glad, that last Sunday’s posting was to this unique, south city venue for the staging of the 64th game played there thus far this year.

We will call again.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more