Highs and lows of the season of the AUL season

Highs and lows of the season of the AUL season

Cathal Hughes (Cork AUL) presents the League 2 trophy to Killumney United captain Dave McCarthy.

AS the curtain is soon to come down on yet another busy season for the Cork AUL, the time has come once again to take stock and reflect back over the season to focus on both local and national activity throughout the 2021-22 campaign.

Although there is still some football still to be played, all the major competitions (with the exception of the AOH Cup) have been completed.

Despite the pause from December 20 to January 22 due to COVID, it looks like the league will pull themselves over the line to bring an end to this season for the first time since 2018-19.

Before reflecting back over the season, let’s focus on some of the low points first and on that note, it was a pity to see some teams folding before the end.

And if we are to be honest, there were a couple of other teams that just about hung on by a thread.

Unfortunately, this had a very obstructive affect on the league sections that were affected and on top of that, it also diminishes the competitive nature of challenging for a title as well as having an effect on teams fighting against relegation.

Then, the amount of games being cancelled from week to week was also a big concern.

I cannot remember last when one weekend of fixtures went fully through without a cancellation and in most cases, these cancellations were not down to the weather.

Another low point for me this season was the amount of walkovers that some teams gave.

Killumney United players and followers celebrate after winning the League 2 title following their 4-2 victory over Greenmount at Murphy's Farm.
Killumney United players and followers celebrate after winning the League 2 title following their 4-2 victory over Greenmount at Murphy's Farm.

The league must come up with some ideas as to how this can be prevented in the future as handing a team three points for not kicking a ball just does not make sense

In fact, we have seen examples where some teams have won titles without even playing for the points and in cup competition; we have seen teams get byes into semi-finals without taking part in a game - this has to stop.

On the positive side, all the league sections were very competitive this season and in cup competitions, we saw some very good finals out in the Cross.

Let’s go through the various competitions now and reflect back on what was a very competitive season at all levels.

As always, the FAI Junior Cup is the toughest competition to win in Irish amateur football and to be in with a shout, you need excellence and quality all over the pitch as well as possessing a very high level of fitness.

Unfortunately, over the last number of years it’s been very tough for junior teams from Cork to really make a big impact in this competition.

This year Grattan and Coachford reached the fifth round stage of the competition, but at O’Neill Park, Grattan went down 1-3 against Tolka while Coachford bowed out in that infamous fifth round tie at the Glebe against Hibs from Waterford.

But, in the overall scheme of things, if we don’t see drastic changes in the approach to junior football in Cork, we will not see this trophy ever make its way to the rebel county.

Such is the pity because there is plenty of talent here, but what is lacking is the level of commitment needed all ‘round to bring the standard up to the necessary level that would pose a serious threat.

Until that happens, we can only expect to reach the fifth or sixth round stages of this competition at best.

Barry Peelo and Denis O'Driscoll at the Cork AUL 75th anniversary celebration that was held at the Metropole Hotel, Cork. - Picture David Creedon
Barry Peelo and Denis O'Driscoll at the Cork AUL 75th anniversary celebration that was held at the Metropole Hotel, Cork. - Picture David Creedon

On to the Munster Junior Cup now and it is well documented by now how heartbreaking it was for Coachford to bow out of the McCarthy’s Insurance Munster Junior Cup after going down 0-1 to St. Michael’s in their semi-final clash at a pristine Celtic Park in Clonmel on Sunday, May 8.

What a bitter pill it was for Coachford to swallow after having so many chances to win the game – especially in the first 45.

And were it not for some terrific goalkeeping by Adrian Walsh who was man of the match between the sticks for St. Michaels, the story would have been much different.

Coachford were on top in the first 45 and although, it evened itself out a bit after that, they still had chances before the end of extra time.

Although, it was a terrific achievement to reach the semi-final stage, it will certainly have proven to this Coachford side that they can be a match for anyone.

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

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