Clare native James McMahon hoping to help Erin's Own to junior victory over Kilshannig

East Cork champions face the favourites in Sunday's county final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
Clare native James McMahon hoping to help Erin's Own to junior victory over Kilshannig

Erin's Own captain James McMahon celebrating with his team-mates after their victory over Cobh in the East Cork JAHC final at Carrigtwohill last month. Picture: David Keane

There will be an unusual Clare-based reunion in Sunday’s Co-op SuperStores Cork JAHC final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (3pm).

Captaining Erin’s Own is James McMahon from O’Callaghan’s Mills and one of the players lining out for opponents Kilshannig is Paddy Walsh of Bodyke, whose father was the McMahons’ postman.

McMahon, an accountant with Grant Thornton, relocated to Cork with his wife Suzanne in 2020.

“The opportunity came up to move and we bought a house in Glounthaune,” he says.

“Part of it was getting closer to home – Suzanne is from the Monaleen side of Limerick so it’s fairly direct the Mitchelstown way.

“One of the first things that I did was get in contact with Erin’s Own.”

Erin’s Own have won the county SHC three times – 1992, 2006 and 2007 – as well as intermediate titles in 1984 and 1987 but, as yet, a junior championship remains elusive, the club having ‘upgraded’ to intermediate of their own volition for 1980.

Now, McMahon – who played with St Joseph's O'Connell Boys while living in Dublin – is hopeful that he can lift the John Quirke Cup.

“I was delighted when Shay Bowen and Eoin O’Connor asked me to be captain of the team so soon after joining,” he says.

“From talking to them and reading about the club and seeing what the East Cork junior championship meant, you could see it was big.

ACHIEVEMENT

“The fact that we’ve never won a junior A championship before – we got to the final in 1977 and lost it – you can just see in the club that, if we could get over the line on Sunday, it would be an absolutely huge achievement for us.

“It’s fantastic, it’s nice to be brought into that and to see what it means to the lads who’ve been around the club for a long time. It’s great to be part of it.”

While the Erin’s Own team features some players with senior experience, for others playing in the Páirc will be a new experience.

“There’s a great mix of ages in the team at the moment,” he says.

You’d have the older guys who would have played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh previously and won senior championships, but then for the younger lads, some of them are just 19, to be playing a county final there will be an incredible experience.

“Kilshannig have a lot of momentum, having won the intermediate football and winning the North Cork hurling.

“They’re going to be a very fit, physical team and we know that it’s going to be a massive challenge on Sunday. We’ll tear into it anyway and give it our all.”

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