Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh: The small village with 47 players training

Denis Reen will have his side prepared for a tough semi-final against last year's runners-up Mallow
Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh: The small village with 47 players training

Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh's Donagh Shorten tackling Clyda Rovers' Colin Kelly in their SAFC quarter-final. Picture Denis Boyle

NEXT up is an SAFC semi-final against Mallow and it promises to be an exciting few weeks for Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh.

The Gaeltacht club came out on top with victory in a competitive SAFC quarter-final contest with Clyda Rovers at Ovens last weekend.

Clyda in fact held a one-point lead at the break but Béal Átha hit five points without reply in the early stages of the second half to charge into the lead, with Clyda losing Paudie Kissane to a black card during this fruitful spell.

That was indeed a crucial turning point, as Béal Átha held their opponents at arm’s length in the latter stages and secured the victory.

Béal Átha gradually grew into this game the longer things progressed and departed Ovens content knowing a solid performance was produced.

“To get to the last four is an unbelievable achievement already,” said Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh manager Denis Reen when asked to give his assessment on his side reaching the last four.

“It is all down to the lads and what they have done is just sensational. We are just delighted with them and we can’t ask for any more.

That is one thing that is driven into these boys for two years now. Before they were all saying a soft touch in Ballingeary and their heads would drop.

“But by God, these boys won’t die. Thankfully we got through and hopefully we can take it forward now.”

Reen was involved with Kiskeam during a glorious spell for the club, which saw them win the Cork PIFC title in 2016.

Now his focus is on all things Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh. During his time as the manager, Reen has firsthand got an insight into how much football means to Ballingeary and how significant a role it plays in the village.

“I have witnessed before a small village in 600 in Kiskeam. This is half the population with 300.

“What we are doing at the moment is we have 47 lads training. People think we are lying.

“But if you look inside we have two changing rooms taken up. Every one of them are in it together.

“I am so grateful I got this opportunity to train a senior team in Cork again.

“Everyone wants to be here at the end of the season. We are now in the last four, way out of our expectations. But do you know what, we will have a crack and see where it takes us.”

Attention for Béal Áthan Ghaorthaidh will now turn towards their preparations for the semi-final contest in the coming weeks.

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