IT promises to be an exciting few weeks ahead for Ballyhea manager John Mortell.
The Avondhu club have everything to play for in Group 3 of the Co-Op Superstores Cork Senior A Hurling Championship, as do the rest of the clubs in the final series of round-robin ties in three weeks.
Following the draw between Ballyhea and Bride Rovers on Sunday afternoon last, the two teams are tied together on three points at the top of the group.
Carrigtwohill are on one point, while Ballymartle are bottom after suffering two championship losses but will be hoping to avoid a relegation play-off.
It will all come down to a final day shootout in the group between Ballyhea and Carrigtwohill, as they face off on August 27 in Ballyanley.
At the same time, Bride Rovers will take on Ballymartle in Riverstown.
The beauty of the new system keeps everyone engaged throughout the championship, even when things are going against them.
Mortell was slightly frustrated his charges didn’t beat fancied Bride Rovers having led in the dying minutes despite getting an early red card.
“To be honest we are disappointed we didn’t win it.
“We gave it everything and we put everything out there.
“But it was another great performance from the boys. I know they got the equaliser very deep into injury time, but it was a powerful game from two great sides.
“We know Bride Rovers are a good side and we had to go toe to toe with them. In fairness to our lads, the boys did.
We are proud of our tradition in Ballyhea and the boys wear the jersey with pride. They dug deep and when everything was thrown against them.
“They stuck at it and it was a brilliant performance from the lads. We knew we had to go toe to toe with Bride Rovers, we did that.
“But there is another huge challenge down the road in Carrigtwohill now. It is a shootout between ourselves and Carrigtwohill now. So that is a huge game in three weeks.
“We will have to assess things now. But we have three weeks to get it right. That will be another huge match against Carrigtwohill.
“They are a proud club and we know that won’t be easy anyway.
“We are proud of our tradition and we are proud of our club. The field is full every night training and this is huge.
“We started Dion Curtin today who is only 18. We have a lot of young fellas coming through and we are trying to progress the whole lot of them.”