Diarmuid Kirwan is tasked with guiding Muskerry hurlers in championship

Experienced former referee is a member of the Éire Óg club
Diarmuid Kirwan is tasked with guiding Muskerry hurlers in championship

Experienced referee Diarmuid Kirwan on duty in the IHC in Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins

THE Muskerry senior hurling team will be managed by former All-Ireland final referee Diarmuid Kirwan for the 2022 Cork County Championships.

Kirwan is tasked with guiding Muskerry through the divisional/colleges section of the Cork Premier Senior Hurling Championship.

Muskerry will face Carrigdhoun on Tuesday, June the 7 at 7.30pm in Bandon.

Through their SHC successes in recent years, Imokilly have shown what is possible when everyone is rowing in the same direction with a divisional side.

POTENTIAL

Based on how clubs have done in the region, there certainly are talented players to work with in Muskerry hurling, one may argue, and this has is evident with clubs across the division reaching the latter stages of championships at different levels in recent years.

Blarney are one example of such a team. They have been preparing for this year’s championship with league games in recent months.

On May 21 Blarney recorded a 3-21 to 1-19 victory over Carrigaline in Division 2 Group A of the County Hurling League.

In Group B in Division 2 of the league, three Mid-Cork sides have been doing quite well at the top of the standings.

Ballincollig, Éire Óg, and Inniscarra are in first, second, and third place respectively. Each have won five of the six league matches they have played.

Ballincollig beat Cloyne, Inniscarra, Bandon, and Valley Rovers, while Youghal conceded their game.

Éire Óg have beaten Castlelyons, neighbours Ballincollig, Mayfield, Cloyne, and Milford.

Inniscarra were winners in the league clashes against Youghal, Castlelyons, Mayfield, Cloyne, and Éire Óg.

It is a case of so far so good as far as those three Muskerry teams are concerned. They will all be hoping to be involved in the latter stages in the county championships later in the year.

Moving on to Division 3 of the leagues where Aghabullogue have also recorded a number of victories.

They are second in Group A, having won three of their four games — against Aghabullogue, Douglas, Dungourney, and Midleton.

Dripsey are in Group B in Division 3 and they have recorded two league wins so far, among those a 0-24 to 1-16 victory against Meelin.

In Group C in Division 3, Cloughduv are placed towards the top of the standings, having won two, drawn one, and lost one out of their four games played.

The hurling talent in Muskerry has been evident in recent weeks also with the Cork senior hurlers.

In the championship win over Tipperary, the Blarney pair of Mark Coleman and Shane Barrett, along with Sean O’Donoghue of Inniscarra, featured in what was an impressive display from Cork.

Coleman has been captaining the Cork side in 2022. The Echo spoke recently to Blarney manager Ronan Byrne who summed up Coleman’s characteristics as Cork captain, which have been very much in evidence in the recent victories over Tipperary and Waterford.

“He is always ready for a battle and for championship. He keeps himself very fit.

“I suppose he does most of his talking on the field really. I think his main leadership quality is his performances on the field.

“From a talent point of view, we knew at an early stage what a talent Mark was and how good he could be.

Watching him over the last five, six, seven years develop into the player that he is now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

“I think that is one of Mark’s best qualities. He puts the head down and he puts the work in.”

Coleman has consistently been a key performer for Blarney and Cork and as the inter-county GAA Championship heats up, he will be hoping to lead by example in the next few months.

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