IN the aftermath of last week’s column I received a text message informing me that in the prediction section I omitted the game involving his club.
He added, that he was finishing off his 'PaudieP' accumulator and he just wanted to know what box to tick in relation to that match. I got that wrong as well!
Tracton lost, but they did qualify for a quarter-final meeting with Milford.
In fairness, the weekend got off to a reasonable beginning, there were no real surprises in the six Round 3 games in the PJHC. The two best teams in the championship, Ballygiblin and Kilbrittain, (a statement that could come back to haunt me) qualified for the two automatic semi-final slots and I would think that one of them will win it.
The six early Saturday afternoon games in IAHC also went, more or less, to plan.
I attended the Cloughduv v Douglas clash in neighbouring Brinny. As expected the Mid Cork team won pulling up and they probably possess a team capable of winning this championship.
Full-forward Brian Verling is a quality free-taker while Jason Mannix impressed at centre-forward.
Midfielder Aidan Murphy will remember the day as he scored two goals. The second one would please the 'pull on the ground' dreamers even though, there was a rumour in the aftermath, that at the stage of the game midway through the second half, the fuel tank was in the red and he just left fly; regardless it was a beauty.
At full-back, Brain Ahern did all that was required of him and wing-backs Sean Curzon and captain Eoghan Clifford more than impressed. The club itself is slightly unusual in that it is hurling only, but if one could use the term, they have an amount of 'football issues'.
Next Friday evening, the club will have players involved with Aghinagh, Canovee, and Kilmurry in the Mid Cork JAFC semi-finals.
Anyway back to the Saturday game; on the way into the pitch, I encountered a young Cloughduv supporter, a pupil in Ballincollig CS. Unfortunately, I didn’t get his name, he was carrying about 100 hurleys and was well confident of his team’s chances.
At half-time, I encountered him again and together with a few young Valley Rovers players who were on sideline duty, they provided assistance to this scribe in checking half-time scores in the other matches. At full-time they were on again to figure out the identity of quarter-final pairings and the two sides that filled the automatic semi-final slots.
The following afternoon, the duty master dispatched us to Cloughduv for the clash of Inniscarra and Valley Rovers.
On exchanging a few pleasantries with the voluntary security personnel, I spotted the young teenager again, on this occasion, he was on match programme distribution duty.
When I enquired if he would be available at half-time and full-time to do the needful in relation to the other games, he informed that he wouldn’t, as he was going to the Glen Rovers/Na Piarsaigh game as his father was a Piarsaigh man.
I was well disappointed!
The reason I relate the above, is that, over the past while, going to various venues, I have noticed an amount of young people, who are involved with the host clubs on match day, and do you know what, it is enriching and encouraging!
The first evidence that the wheels may be about to depart the 'PaudieP' accumulator wagon, came at Church Road on Saturday evening at the Senior A clash between Cloyne and Newcestown.
Twelve months ago when these two met, the team from Michael Collins' last-stand land won 2-24 to 1-9. Two months later, Mickey Cahill scored three goals and Brian O’Shea hit nine points to save their bacon in a relegation final against Bandon.
So here they were again, after losing their opening two games, what else were we meant to think?
Paudie O’Sullivan landed one from distance but two minutes later Luke Meade equalised. After 20 minutes the sides were level for the fourth time, 0-4 each, but it was noticeable that Paudie O’Sullivan was operating as a six and a sweeper, he only got better at both and did audition for Man of the Match!
In the next six minutes, they outscored the Westerners, seven points to one, the guy wearing nine, Brian O’Shea got three, all from play. At half-time, they lead 0-15 to 0-9, the final score of the half was a sideline beauty from O’Shea, his seventh, the accumulator was on life support.
Despite Colm Dineen getting two on the restart, the East Cork side dominated and won by 12.
When you give it, you got to take it, and on meeting a few of their backroom/supporting crew, I was reminded of my slán leat references!
Fair play to them, Brian O’Shea ended up with 15, some say 16, points and the three-goal kid from the slán leat showdown 10 months ago Mickey Cahill landed 1-3.
The victory meant a lot to them and I would imagine that the Church Road residents were wondering, what was happening around 8.45pm, as the departing Red and Black crew gave it the full siren salute as they headed east.
On to Sunday morning and a caller from Kanturk stated that, at mass earlier, he prayed for a miracle and half.
Kanturk to defeat the county champions Midleton, and the half, that Blackrock would beat Charleville. He has no animosity for the good folk at Rath Luirc except that if the impossible happened, and Kanturk won and Charleville did likewise, the Duhallow lads would still end up in the relegation final.
When Charleville went eight ahead, the half miracle needed a miraculous U-turn; it arrived and the Rockies got home by two.
Coming down the home straight in Fermoy, the champions and miracle seekers were deadlocked, a draw wouldn’t be enough to avoid a visit to the last chance saloon.
The Houdini moment, five minutes into injury-time, Brian O’Sullivan struck the winner, the morning prayer was answered, the miracle and the half miracle. The PaudieP accumulator was in shreds… what a massive weekend!
Roll on the football Round 3 show.