Imokilly GAA: Split season puts a strain on resources for clubs and officials

East Cork Board concludes business for the year at convention
Imokilly GAA: Split season puts a strain on resources for clubs and officials

St Ita's Michael O'Brien controls the sliotar ahead of Erins Own's Conor Linehan during the Imokilly JAHC final in Dungourney. Picture: Howard Crowdy

SEASON’S end is upon us and the Imokilly GAA Board’s annual convention took place at Carrigtwohill GAA Pavilion.

The attendance was limited due to Covid-19 restrictions where Avril Geary was elected vice-chairperson and her St Ita’s colleague Oliver Loughlin as treasurer.

Both previously held officerships in the Imokilly board. Oliver was treasurer from 2001 to 2010.

Runaí Daniel Lane produced an excellent report, covering all the divisional activities during the year.

Danel, completing his first year in the secretary’s chair, thanked all the clubs and their officers for their work and support during the year.

“The split season has many benefits, but the strain it puts on our resources, like players, referees and venues, is something that will become clearer over time,” said Daniel.

“I want to pay tribute to the wonderful success of our clubs in the division. So many of you are operating at senior and intermediate level and are striving for silverware each year, many of whom are successful in that venture.

“I want to acknowledge the victories of St Ita’s and Bride Rovers in our flagship competitions, the junior A hurling and football championships respectively. Seeing St Ita’s claim the Jamesy Kelleher Cup for the first time was a standout moment.

“Sincere thanks to all the referees and their trusted team of officials, who give up their time to ensure that all games are covered. Looking to the years ahead, due to that strain that the split season is putting on referees, I would urge all clubs to ensure that you have a referee. 

The county referees’ administrator, Niall Barrett, is always on the lookout for new blood, and they will be trained to the highest of standards.”

Chairman Donal O’Keeffe expressed condolences to the O’Leary family on the sad recent passing of Seanie O’Leary, one of Cork’s greatest hurlers. Many of the club representatives, along with Pat Horgan, vice-chairman, Cork GAA Board, paid tributes. Mick Walshe, Youghal, played for many years with him and shared some great memories.

Pat Horgan also gave a very comprehensive report on county matters, congratulating Midleton, Castlemartyr, and Lisgoold, who won counties, and commiserating with Fr O’Neill’s, Castlelyons, and Sarsfield, beaten narrowly in the finals. He asked for support for the Rebel Bounty draw and outlined the great benefit it was to clubs in the county.

Outgoing treasurer Michael O’Brien outlined the finances, while PRO Kieran McGann also delivered a comprehensive report. The referees’ administrator report came from outgoing chairman, Jerome O’Brien. He thanked all the referees for their great work during the year and asked that all clubs supply new referees.

Michael O'Brien, the outgoing treasurer, receives a presentation for his services to the East Cork GAA Board from Donal O'Keeffe, chairman. Picture: Denis O'Flynn
Michael O'Brien, the outgoing treasurer, receives a presentation for his services to the East Cork GAA Board from Donal O'Keeffe, chairman. Picture: Denis O'Flynn

Presentations were made to outgoing officers, including Michael O’Brien and Jerome O’Brien, who both gave sterling service to the board. Jerome had held his current post of vice-chairman since 2018; Michael served as secretary, PRO, and treasurer in recent years.

110 hurling matches, between league and championship, were played in the division in 2021 and the figure for football was 82. That hurling championship final was played in difficult weather conditions but hosted splendidly by Dungourney. St Ita’s won.

The newly crowned champions beat Ballymartle in the quarter-final of the county competition, before going out to Dromtariffe in the penultimate round.

Bride Rovers, who enjoyed a very busy year in both codes, won the football championship decider over Cobh, after producing a very strong finish at Carraig na bhFear. However, the Rathcormac club suffered late heartbreak when losing out to Urhan in the quarter-final.

The last few weekends have seen both the outstanding U21 football championships concluded. Glanmire won the A competition with a 2-10 to 0-10 success over Aghada, with Erin’s Own (following on from their semi-final win over Bride Rovers a week earlier) defeating Glenville 0-13 to 0-10.

It was the first title for Erin’s Own at this age bracket since 2010, when they went on to become the inaugural county champions at this level.

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