Cork Masters set to face London at Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G

Over-40s side keen to pick up first victory of the campaign when they host London next weekend
Cork Masters set to face London at Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G

The Cork Masters football squad.

THE Cork Masters (over-40) Gaelic football team will look to kick-start their campaign when they face London at the Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G pitch next Saturday, June 25.

While Glenville has been the team’s primary home venue since first competing in 2021, the London clash had been pencilled in as a possible tie for the city and team manager Mark O’Sullivan is delighted that things have fallen into place.

“It’s fantastic, we’re really looking forward to it,” he says. “It’s great of them to come over.

“We met with Conor Counihan and he was very obliging, a great assistance to us. He was very interested in our project and it was really good to meet someone at that level who had heard of us and was interested in us doing well.”
While Cork have yet to register a victory, O’Sullivan feels that the graph is pointing upwards.

“We’re getting closer and closer,” he says.

“We were beaten by Waterford in the first game, we probably weren’t expecting them to be as strong as they were and they had a lot of former inter-county players.

“They were slick and played with an intensity that we weren’t used to. Then, the second game was against Kildare, we were doing well but we ran out of legs.

“Our third match was against Kerry last weekend and we lost by seven points but we had a goal disallowed with four minutes to go which would have brought us level. On their team, they had William Kirby, Gene Farrell and Aidan O’Mahony, so it was a mighty performance. Really, we can see match on match the progress being made.

“We’re getting to the point where we’re a handful for anyone and it’s just a case of getting that win, getting used to that feeling and replicating it.

“We’re very close to that and, overall, we’re happy with the way things are going. Obviously, we’re still hoping for that first win.”

While the various challenges prevented by Covid meant that last year was an unusual experience, things are more straightforward now.

“Obviously, the dressing rooms were a bit of a problem last year but we managed around that,” O’Sullivan says.

“It’s easier in that now we can meet with guys and organise soup and sandwiches after the matches, mingle a bit better and get to know people.

“The London lads are coming for the weekend, which teams weren’t able to do last year, and that’s good for the city as well. They’re really looking forward to it because they have a couple of Cork lads on the team.”

The hope is that the London game will draw some support and that Cork can then build on that.

“We’re hoping to get the word out there and that people will come down, have a look and enjoy the game,” O’Sullivan says.

In some ways, it’s football the way it used to be, because we wouldn’t have the fitness to play a packed defence or anything like that! It’s much more 15 on 15. The last game against Kerry was a great advertisement for football.

“We have Clare on July 9, then Laois a fortnight after that. Then, if we’re in the top 16, we’ll go forward to the knockout section. We’re very much hoping that the London game can be a springboard.

“We’re getting closer and we feel that we can legitimately target a couple of wins from our last three games, whereas we might have already played the ‘stronger’ opposition.”

Cork Masters panel: 

Billy Sheehan (Whitechurch), Don McDonald (Dungourney), Tadgh Lyons (Nemo Rangers), Finbarr O’Riordan (Dromtariffe), Aidan Kelleher (Dungourney), Donal Cashman (Millstreet), Peadar Ó Laoighre (Kilmacabea), Rory Duggan (Nemo Rangers), Dan Croke (Mullinahone, Tipperary), John Paul O’Driscoll (St Oliver Plunkett’s), Jason Deasy (Shamrocks), Derek Smith (Doonbeg, Clare), Tadg Sheehan (Macroom, player/coach), Ger McSweeney (Iveleary), Flor Harrington (Urhan), Donal Kelly (White’s Cross), Flor Crowley (Adrigole), Mike Brady (Ballygarvan), Dave Creedon (Aghada), Terry Cronin, Brian O’Regan (Kinsale), Seán Buckley (Carrigtwohill), Kevin O’Sullivan (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh), David O’Leary (Rochestown), John Ahern (Ballygarvan), Diarmuid Holland (Macroom, player/selector), Diarmuid Lynch (Mitchelstown), Chris Daly (Brian Dillons), Robert Oldham (Iveleary), John Lawlor, James Touhig (Rochestown), Barry Fitzgerald (Midleton), Michael Keohane (Midleton), Edwin Buckley (White’s Cross), Conor McCarhty (Nemo Rangers), Lyndon Kiely (Kinsale), Conor Keane (Ballinascarthy), Paul Hartnett (Rochestown). 

Manager: Mark O’Sullivan (Ballygarvan); Selectors: Seán Horgan (Shamrocks), Rob Stewart (Rochestown).

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