Ben Shorten relishing exciting time for Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh

Ben Shorten relishing exciting time for Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh

Ben Shorten, Ballingeary in action against Fionn Herlihy, Dohenys.

Ben Shorten is playing with Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh at what currently is an exciting time for the club.

The Muskerry Gaeltacht side are fresh off of winning the Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta final, where they triumphed over Donegal side Naomh Conaill courtesy of a full time score of 2-10 to 0-11.

This was Béal Átha’s first ever Senior national title and it was one which means an awful lot to the club and surrounding area.

Ben Shorten was a key member for the Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh side, scoring an impressive total of 1-6 in the final.

Speaking to The Echo, Shorten, who is currently General Manager of The Castle Glanmire, reflects proudly on Béal Átha’s Comórtas success.

“It didn’t sink in until we got home on the Monday night and the reception we got from everyone at home and was there for the parade and celebrations. So it really sank in on how much it meant to everyone and how much it meant to the club.

“The club has only won five Junior(Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta) titles and the last one was in 2002.

“There have been many great players that have come through the club and never won one. 

"It was the Monday night that I realised how significant it was to be a part of it.

 “As a panel and management we were really proud of it when we got home, some of the teams we had beaten and things like that. So it was a really proud moment for us really.

 Ben Shorten, Ballingeary with support from Leonard O'Conchuir in attack.
Ben Shorten, Ballingeary with support from Leonard O'Conchuir in attack.

“The panel won it for us over the weekend. It just shows the strength in depth and it gave lads chances to prove a point that they want to be there for Championship as well.

“It was a huge panel effort. Everyone knew the job they had to do. We knew we had the panel and the capabilities of winning it. 

"But again it was all down to the panel. It showed over the weekend that we were able to do it.”

This competition indeed means an awful lot to the Gaeltacht clubs right across the country and it most certainly means an awful lot to all associated with Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh to have clinched this silverware.

“I only found out a couple of days afterwards that we are automatically qualified as champions for the 2023 Comórtas.

“After the scenes now on the Monday night when we came down, it would definitely give us a hunger to go back and to try and defend it.” 

Over the coming weeks, the preparations for Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh will only intensify ahead of the start of their Cork Senior A Football Championship campaign.

In 2021, Béal Átha reached the semi final stages of the Cork SAFC, where they were defeated by Mallow, the side that ultimately went onto win the decider against St Michael’s.

For the 2022 championship, Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh are in a group which contains Dohenys, Bandon and Kiskeam.

On what are the main goals and objects from a Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh perspective for the 2022 Cork SAFC, Shorten describes:

“It is going to be very tough. I think all four teams will fancy beating each other. It just shows the calibre of the group that is there. We know what we are up against.

“We are confident in our own ability, but you will have to turn up on each day to beat these teams.

“I think every game is going to go down to the wire. But we will all have to be 100% everyone on the panel.

“The Comórtas gave a lot of lads chances of championship pace and bringing some of the younger lads on now over that weekend.

“It was good momentum with the three games. Then we had two Cork County league games in the last few weeks against Fermoy and St Finbarr’s, to get us back into the swing of things.

“We are all just concentrating now on Dohenys on the 22nd of July. So it is full steam ahead for that now."

Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh have already ensured 2022 will be a memorable year courtesy of their Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta success.

Over the coming months they will very much look to bring that winning form into the Cork SAFC. Béal Átha will have aspirations of going far into the County championship and will be determined that is the case Ben Shorten will be hoping to very much play his role for this slick Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh side over the coming weeks and months ahead.

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