ONLY a handful of clubs in Cork have completed the double and one of those clubs is Grenagh.
2013 was a historic year for the Muskerry club, as they won the Mid-Cork championship and later the county JAHC title before beating fellow divisional side Aghabullogue in the IFC decider to complete the double for the team in yellow and blue.
The county title in hurling was their first in the grade following a hard-fought win over Kilbrin in the final, 1-10 to 2-5.
Manager Johnny Keane worked the oracle once again, the Liscarroll native previously guided Dripsey to success in the same grade in 2008. Grenagh got revenge on Aghabullogue in the football, nine years after the Coachford side defeated Grenagh in the Muskerry JAFC final.
Heading into the 2013 season, Grenagh would have been one of the favourites for the Muskerry JAHC, they were going for a second consecutive title.
Grenagh, who lost the 2010 and 2011 divisional finals against a strong Cloughduv team, started the 2013 campaign against Éire Óg’s second team. The second strings are always unknown quantities especially at the start of the championship, but Éire Óg couldn’t live with their opposition, as Grenagh won the first-round game easily, 1-15 to 0-7.
Grenagh progressed to the quarter-final where a huge test was ahead of them against familiar opponents Cloughduv, another fancied side in the championship.
Normal time couldn’t separate them, but the reigning champions just had that little bit more nous to win by a point after extra time, 0-15 to 1-11. Grenagh met Éire Óg once again, and the game followed a similar path as round one, Grenagh won 2-15 to 0-7 to book a place in the final.
They would meet a surprise package in the decider in the shape of Donoughmore, the game never got going, as the team in yellow and blue won 2-18 to 1-9.
Now it was onto the county, after losing in the county semi-final the previous year against Brian Dillon’s by a point, Grenagh were determined to go that extra step this time around.
The Mid-Cork side beat Dohenys in round one, 0-17 to 1-7 and in the process booked a place in the last four. The hurt from the previous year was a driving force and a gritty 1-12 to 0-9 win against Blackrock’s reserves showed they had learned lessons, but could they finish the job?
Kilbrin, seasoned campaigners at this grade were the opposition in the final but led on by the likes of Tom Kenny and Ultan Duggan, Grenagh would not be denied, with Dean Dalton’s green flag crucial in securing a historic victory for the men from Muskerry, 1-10 to 2-5.
Moving onto the big ball, despite being relegated from the Premier Intermediate grade in 2011, Grenagh wouldn’t have been one of the favourites to win the IFC in 2013.
Fellow divisional side Éire Óg were hot favourites, but after they suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Rockchapel in the quarter-final, it opened the door for the other teams, like Grenagh.
The county triumph was made more remarkable after Grenagh lost the opening round of the championship by a point against Mayfield, 1-6 to 0-8, but recovered to beat fellow Muskerry rivals Canovee in round two, 2-16 to 3-5.
Fermoy were next up in round four, a serious test of Grenagh’s credentials, but they passed the test, edging a close contest, 1-11 to 1-9.
They were on a roll now and had six points to spare against Ballydesmond to book a last four spot. Rockchapel on a high after knocking out Éire Óg struggled to back up that performance, as Grenagh ground out a 1-11 to 1-6 victory.
The double was on, 60 minutes away from history, but Aghabullogue stood in the way. Defensive resilience once again was integral in getting Grenagh over the line, limiting Aghabullogue to just five points, as Grenagh kicked twelve points to secure a famous double.
The good folk in Grenagh won’t forget 2013, and the 2023 team are now back preparing for the new season hoping to create more history and new heroes.
The hurlers weren’t too far away last year, losing narrowly to a strong Ballinora team in the Muskerry JAHC final, while the footballers made the quarter-final losing against a vibrant Canovee outfit.
Grenagh have some exciting young players, and with last year’s exposure and experience behind them, Grenagh could surprise a few in 2023, hoping the heroes of 2013 will spur them on.