Chris Óg Jones impressed Cork football fans with his brilliance for Iveleary

Talented young attacker is on the radar of new Rebel manager Keith Ricken after Man of the Match displays in two county finals
Chris Óg Jones impressed Cork football fans with his brilliance for Iveleary

Ivealeary's Chris Óg Jones wins the ball from Mitchelstown's Lorcan Finn at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE statistics most definitely back up the outstanding year Chris Óg Jones has had for Iveleary.

Indeed it has been some journey over recent months overall that the Muskerry club have been on and there could be more miles left in it yet.

Winning two county titles in the space of just 17 weeks, Iveleary have rapidly progressed from Junior to Premier Intermediate level in the space of a few short months.

Chris Óg’s scoring figures have been consistently high throughout championship action in 2021. Scoring a total of 3-8 as Iveleary defeated Boherbue a few months ago in the delayed 2020 Junior A County final, he was also a potent scoring weapon as his side secured Intermediate A glory.

Scoring a total of 5-29 on route to the decider, the former Cork U20 Footballer stepped up to the plate for Iveleary in the Cork IAFC final by scoring 0-8, as they defeated Mitchelstown in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

His scoring form had made him become one of the marquee forwards in the Cork County championships across all grade levels.

Chris Óg Jones tells The Echo about the significance of this Cork IAFC championship success and how much football means to the people of Iveleary.

“I don’t think people have any clue what this means to some people in the parish. I mean they live and they breathe Iveleary.

“So just to be able to do this for them is unbelievable. It means everything to us to be able to perform for them.

“A couple of months ago all we wanted was to be at Intermediate. But then as the games went on we started believing.

“We had a bit of momentum going into the final. In fairness to the management they have us tipping and they leave no stone unturned.” 

MOMENTUM

It was only October of 2020 that Iveleary secured the Mid Cork Junior A title in the final against Kilmurry by just a single point.

Since then they have added the County Junior A crown and now most recently the Intermediate A Football title.

Over the last number of months, the likes of Chris Óg Jones and all in this Iveleary side have flourished on the footballing field and they have been flowing with confidence with their style of play.

“We played Kilmurry there in the Mid Cork final and we only just about beat them,” recalls Óg Jones.

“Imagine if we had lost where we would have been because it would have been hard to pick ourselves back up.

“But even since I think to be fair, the Kilmacabea game in the (2020) County Junior A semi-final, from there that is where we really kicked on.

“We haven’t looked back since. The momentum has been on our side and thankfully we are going up again.

“Everyone in this Iveleary team knows what their role is. We have players there that go under the radar.

I know a lot of the time myself and Cathal Vaughan might get the headlines. But I think everyone in Iveleary knows that this team is full of unbelievable players.

“Without them this thing doesn’t work. That is how it is with us, everyone puts in a performance.” 

Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

These are indeed very special times for Iveleary GAA. They have secured two county titles in the space of just four months and have made the jump from Junior to the Premier Intermediate ranks look totally seamless.

When the dust settles, those back in Inchigeela can reflect on a rollercoaster of a few months that has well and truly put Iveleary GAA on the map.

Playing Junior A Football at the start of the summer of 2021, they now will be playing Cork Premier Intermediate Championship Football in 2022.

With teams at that grade such as Cill Na Martra, Macroom and Naomh Abán, there is the prospect of a number of Mid Cork derbies in the Cork PIFC in 2022.

“We have been looking at the likes of Macroom, Naomh Abán and Cill Na Martra. We are now going to get our chance to prove ourselves against them and see if we can match it with them. That is exciting,” says Óg Jones.

Based on their performances of recent times, Iveleary could be very competitive also at that level next year. Along with Chris Óg Jones, they have an impressive collective unit at the present moment.

This Iveleary story could potentially have a few more chapters to add over the next couple of years.

With that in mind, the name of Chris Óg Jones is most certainly one to keep an eye on.

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