Randal Óg's hard work over 16 years is paying off in hurling and football

West Cork club have one county title secured and are in two other finals this month
Randal Óg's hard work over 16 years is paying off in hurling and football

Sean Daly, Randal Óg, is fouled by Conor Kingston, Douglas, in the Junior B Football Championship semi-final at Brinny. Picture: Larry Cummins

RANDAL Óg are through to the County Junior B Championship Final and will face Dripsey after another momentous victory for the club. 

The West Cork club have a Junior B Hurling final with Belgooly next weekend and already won the junior B football competition for first-teams only.

For Randal Óg Chairman Frank O’Donnell this is a dream come true. 

O’Donnell explained: “This run in both hurling and football hasn’t just happened overnight. In all honesty, it has taken all of 16 years and so much hard work. 

"We have had one weekend off in the last 25 weekends with about 10 dual players who will be playing in the hurling final next weekend. It was the brainchild of Gerard Collins who is the hurling manager and we just put in a huge effort with all these young lads and they are a united group for a long time. 

Everyone just rowed in with the idea and everyone was welcome at training. We created an identity for this group of players with the Randal Óg club and that pride in the parish. 

"After all the effort it has taken us on a great journey this year. For a small club like ourselves to be taking on a big city club like Douglas is amazing. Our goalkeeper Ciarán Murray kept us in the game in the first 15 minutes and we could have been gone but for some heroic saves. 

"We are surrounded by some very successful bigger clubs and we are tied in with Dunmanway at underage level. We are a corner of a parish in effect but everyone has given us huge support. We’ll head home happy tonight and let the lads prepare for the hurling final.” 

 Shane Buckley, Douglas, and Seamus Crowley, Randal Óg, challenge for possession. Picture: Larry Cummins
Shane Buckley, Douglas, and Seamus Crowley, Randal Óg, challenge for possession. Picture: Larry Cummins

Randal Óg manager David Ahern understandably had a beaming smile after his side qualified to meet Dripsey in the county final. For a rural club to be on the cusp of a Junior B double is truly magnificent. 

While the winning margin against Douglas was six points in the end the platform for this victory was set in the opening quarter where the West Cork side needed lady luck and some brilliant goalkeeping from Ciarán Murray.

Ahern said: "It’s a great win but we were very lucky not to concede three or four goals in the opening quarter. We were all over the place and Ciarán probably kept us in this game. Maybe we haven’t played in a month and we were a bit rusty. There is certainly room for improvement anyway. 

We have a big cross-over of players and we are in the hurling final next weekend. But we showed character and attitude. 

"Having a free-taker like Barry O’Driscoll is massive and the bench came in to steady the ship in the final quarter. 

"For the Randal Óg club and all the people involved this is just incredible really. Going into battle every week has created such spirit among the players and that was obvious when things went against us early on. 

"But to be fair we took our chances up front and that was probably the difference in the end as we forced Douglas to kick from distance.”

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