Ronan Dwane delighted to have Cathail O'Mahony and Darragh Flynn available again for Ballygiblin

Cork senior players scored the key goals in Munster Club Junior Hurling quarter-final at Semple Stadium
Ronan Dwane delighted to have Cathail O'Mahony and Darragh Flynn available again for Ballygiblin

Ballygiblin's Fionn Herlihy clears his lines watched by his goalkeeper Christopher Noonan and Grangemockler Ballyneale's Alex Millea. Picture Diarmuid Brennan/Sportsfocus

Ballygiblin coach Ronan Dwane hailed the impact of goalscorers Cathail O’Mahony and Darragh Flynn as his side moved forward to the AIB Munster Club JHC semi-finals.

The North Cork side find themselves in the curious situation of defending their provincial title after the decision by Cork County Board that the winners of the Premier JHC (previously Lower IHC) will now represent the county in Munster.

Having won the PJHC at the first time of asking with a final win over Tracton last month, Ballygiblin began their Munster campaign at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles on Saturday against Tipperary’s Grangemockler-Ballyneale and came out on the right side of a 2-10 to 0-11 scoreline after second-half green flags from O’Mahony and Flynn.

Cork footballer O’Mahony missed Ballygiblin’s 2021 journey after suffering injury in the Allianz Football League, while Flynn, a two-time All-Ireland U20 hurling medallist, found his impact limited too. To have both available and positively affecting games is a bonus for Dwane.

“Absolutely, you’d be delighted to have them,” he said.

“They’re two inter-county players, really – Cathail from a football point of view and Darragh obviously involved with the hurling – and they’re two class players and great finishers when they get their chances.

“Cathail’s a very talented hurler. He was out all of last year, he got injured playing for Cork and we didn’t have him at all, he missed Mitchelstown’s football county final, too.

Darragh’s not fully fit yet but he’s a great player and we’re delighted to have him back on the field. We’ll mind him!”

A semi-final clash with Colligan of Waterford was secured in battling rather than flowing fashion, but at this time of year the result outweighs the performance.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Dwane said.

“We didn’t play that well but we’re delighted to get the win, obviously.

“Any win you get in championship is a good win, at this level you’re not going to have it all your own way. It’s not going to be easy – any team that’s representing Tipperary is going to be very, very strong.

“We were sloppy enough, maybe after the county final it took us a while to get going again and we were a bit disjointed but overall we’re absolutely delighted with the win.

“At the same time, we’re under no illusions that we’ll have to improve if we’re to beat Colligan.”

Tina O'Sullivan, Roisin O'Dwyer, Sinead O'Sullivan, Aoife Herlihy at the AIB Munster GAA Hurling Junior Club Championship. Picture: Diarmuid Brennan/Sportsfocus
Tina O'Sullivan, Roisin O'Dwyer, Sinead O'Sullivan, Aoife Herlihy at the AIB Munster GAA Hurling Junior Club Championship. Picture: Diarmuid Brennan/Sportsfocus

Ballygiblin took time to assert themselves. While they scored four points in a row to move ahead in the first half after Grangemockler-Ballyneale went 16 minutes without scoring, the Cork champions were 0-7 to 0-5 down at half-time.

The experience of last year meant that there was no panic, however.
“We were 0-3 to 0-1 and we got on top then,” Dwane said, “we went up 0-5 to 0-3 and we were probably unlucky that we didn’t get a goal or two coming up to half-time.

“Then they got the last four points to go in leading by two so you were a bit worried but we weren’t panicked or anything like that.

“We had spoken a bit during the week about how it was going to be tight and what we’d do if we were behind – and we’ve been behind in a lot of games this year, so we’ve a good confidence in ourselves that we might be able to come back.”

Ultimately, the goals were crucial.

“We were down two points and it was the first score of the second half, Cathail raced through and he had a great finish,” Dwane said.

“They got a point straightaway but we were back level at least. It was nip and tuck there for a while until Darragh got his goal – another great bit of individual play and he got a good point afterwards to put us four points up.

“We were able to see it out from there, without ever being overly comfortable, but we’re just delighted with the win.”

Now they look ahead to the semi-final, which will be played in Cork, and they will have Shane Beston back too after he missed Saturday’s game.

“Yeah, it’s a Cork venue in two weeks’ time,” Dwane said. “We’ll have to sit down and see, I’m not sure which venue it’ll be. We’re really looking forward to it.”

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