Castlemartyr hurlers prepare for huge clash with Ballincollig

Club is upgrading its facilities as the adult team gears up for Premier Intermediate Hurling action this weekend
Castlemartyr hurlers prepare for huge clash with Ballincollig

Christy O'Sullivan, golf committee chairman, Cork hurler Ciarán Joyce and club chairman Mike Falahee at the Castlemartyr GAA Club Golf Classic Launch.

THESE are exciting times for Castlemartyr GAA Club.

The club is looking forward to breaking new ground by lining out in the forthcoming Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship, in an era when major development continues to take place off the field.

In January of last year, despite the shadow of Covid hanging over the sporting world, the club announced an ambitious three-year development plan in the countdown to their centenary celebrations in 2024.

The famous political phrase “a lot done — more to do” could certainly apply to the current state of play.

Huge progress has been made, but there is much more on the horizon. The club has just confirmed that work on their state-of-the-art all-weather floodlit training facility is set to begin in early autumn.

Its benefits will be huge as the new look Paddy Walsh Memorial Park continues to cater for growing numbers of players at all levels.

After the completion of the community walkway in phase 1 — along with new lighting, new perimeter fencing, pitch enhancement, enlarged car parking area, improved toilet facilities and the embracing of the biodiversity scheme, attention is now very much turning to the construction of the all-weather pitch, with a completion date pencilled in for early 2023.

The venture requires considerable funding, which will be partly generated by grant aid, but will be very much dependent on the club’s innovative membership packages and a number of other fundraising initiatives.

Stars of the future Luke Falahee, James Bowens and Adam Falahee at the Castlemartyr GAA Golf Classic launch. Picture: John Cashman
Stars of the future Luke Falahee, James Bowens and Adam Falahee at the Castlemartyr GAA Golf Classic launch. Picture: John Cashman

One such venture is the Annual Golf Classic, which was launched recently and will take place on Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12 at the nearby Castlemartyr Resort GC and now takes on even greater significance.

Teams of three and tee box sponsorship are the main avenues of opportunity to support the event.

The club is delighted to have Amarenco and Army Surplus Warehouse on board as main sponsors, with Glenbio Ltd involved as associate sponsors. Competition takes the form of a three-ball batter ball, with one score to count on each hole, except on par threes where two scores will count. 

Full details on this year’s classic are available by contacting Christy O'Sullivan on 0868040183.

Main sponsors John Mullins of Amarenco and Noel Curtin of the Army Surplus Store at Castlemartyr GAA Golf Classic launch.
Main sponsors John Mullins of Amarenco and Noel Curtin of the Army Surplus Store at Castlemartyr GAA Golf Classic launch.

The rate of progress in the current transformation of the club’s facilities is very obvious to anybody who steps inside the gates of their home base. Huge compliments have been paid already to head groundsman Willie Walsh, whose care has made the main playing surface into one the very best in the county.

Alongside him club president Christy O'Sullivan also considers looking after the pitch as a real labour of love. Jimmy Smiddy heads up a hard-working pitch committee, which has seen Dan Crowley’s professional expertise have a huge influence. The next big game at the venue will be the IHC tie between Aghada and Midleton on Saturday.

On the playing fields, Castlemartyr hurlers are themselves very much focusing on the opening challenge in their new surroundings.

They have been bracketed in a very testing company, with games against seasoned campaigners Ballincollig, Kilworth and Ballinhassig all coming up in the quick-fire round-robin group stages.

It’s where the club have strived to be and they enter this year’s championship on the back of those successive outright wins at lower intermediate and intermediate A level.

Recent results have seen them advance to the last four of the Division 3 league, after getting the better of a stubborn challenge presented by Clougduv in a game that finished 0-25 to 0-21. 

Ballincollig, Ballinhassig and Kilworth were all together last year in the same championship group and are familiar rivals. For Castlemarty it’s a brand new challenge... a brand new adventure as they test their credentials just one step down from the senior grade. For players, management and supporters it’s going to be a hugely exciting few weeks.

In football, the club is also on a very positive run of form. A share of the championship spoils the first day out versus Carrigtwohill was followed up by a two-point success against Cobh in another very close encounter. Castlemartyr were then favoured to secure a place in the knockout stages of the JAFC with a win over Midleton, but with the Magpies out of contention, they opted to concede the game.

It all means that Castlemarty now advance to the last four, where they await the winners of the Cloyne-Youghal quarter-final clash. This comes on the back of a fine run of results in JFL2 where the team are challenging for a place in the final.

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