IT’S safe to say Cill Na Martra are in a good place heading into the 2022 GAA Cork County Football Championship.
The Muskerry club look set to be a firm contender for the PIFC over the next couple of months.
This is an exciting time in the history of the Gaeltacht side. Tadhg Corkery, Daniel Dineen, and Michael Desmond are just three members of a talented side.
Overall this is a fine Cill Na Martra outfit, with their collective effort in evidence as they progressed over the last number of years.
They reached the semi-final of this championship in 2021 where they suffered defeat at the hands of Newmarket who went on to win the title in dramatic fashion when beating Kanturk at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Cill Na Martra will be determined to bounce back in strong fashion in the coming months.
This Cill Na Martra side has been doing well overall in the Cork County Football league Division 1B.
They recorded a 0-12 to 0-10 to O’Donovan Rossa in March and on St Patrick’s Day, they recorded an impressive 3-14 to 0-10 win against Ilen Rovers.
This was followed by a 2-7 to 0-8 win away to Clyda Rovers, and then a 1-12 to 0-13 win against Clonakilty at the start of May.
At the end of May, Cill Na Martra beat Valley Rovers by 2-12 to 1-12.
For the 2022 Cork PIFC Championship, Cill Na Martra are in a group alongside Nemo Rangers, St Vincent’s, and Iveleary.
They will face Nemo in Cloughduv on July 24, while the group clash with Iveleary scheduled for Friday, August 12 in Macroom is eagerly anticipated, especially with the upward trajectory and championship success Iveleary have had in recent years as they climbed through the grades.
Iveleary are a fine and settled side and there will be plenty of local bragging rights up for grabs.
You could make a strong argument that the Cill Na Martra and Iveleary game could potentially be one of the games of the football championships across all grades.
On Sunday, September 4 Cill Na Martra will face St Vincent’s in Kilmurry.
By that stage they will be hoping that a place in the knockout stages has already been is very much secured.
Cill Na Martra have been knocking on the door of the PIFC Championship over recent years.
There is every chance the Gaeltacht side will be there or thereabouts again over the coming months.
Former Roscommon, Tipperary, and Wicklow senior football manager John Evans is the man at the helm as the Cill Na Martra manager this campaign.
Evans spoke with The Echo recently regarding his targets and the potential in this Cill Na Martra side.
“Having spoken with Noel O’Leary, he is an absolute gentleman. He has given long, long years to Cill Na Martra, that is for certain. He has set a high bar there and I think that is what the young lads are trying to do.
“There are a lot of young players there now trying to emulate Noel, none more so than young Tadhg Corkery and Dan Dineen, who are on the county team.
“The core of the Cill Na Martra team is young and they want to achieve something. At the end of the day, I will be trying to instill new values into them and bring them along, trying to get each guy to be the best he can be.”
There is the core of a side in Cill Na Martra which looks equipped for a championship challenge.
Looking at the Cork PIFC as a whole, Cill Na Martra and Kanturk both look like teams that can contest this championship and they also seem equipped to more than hold their own at Senior A level.
The challenge for Cill Na Martra will be to ensure that they will be playing at that level come this time in 2023.