How Midleton CBS plays a key role in developing Cork hurlers

East Cork school has 19 past and present pupils involved in this week's three All-Irelands
How Midleton CBS plays a key role in developing Cork hurlers

Eoin Downey and Ciaran Joyce of Cork celebrate after their side's victory in the U20 All-Ireland. Downey hurled for Christians in the Harty Cup, Joyce with Midleton CBS. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

MIDLETON CBS continues to be an integral cog in the development of Cork hurlers.

The 1995 minor crop that included Donal Óg Cusack, Mickey O'Connell and Joe Deane is strongly associated with the school's Harty Cup win that same season with a team that also included Diarmuid O'Sullivan, and of course, the core of that side went on to lift Liam MacCarthy after.

With Cork hurling teams contesting three All-Ireland finals in five days this week, and the first part of the Rebel Treble completed with the U20 victory over Galway, Midleton CBS is well represented again. 

In total, the school has 19 past and present students involved as players and mentors, including Ger Millerick, Seán O'Leary Hayes, Ciarán Joyce, Sam Quirke and Jack Leahy.

Cork's Jack Leahy in action against Cian Scully of Limerick. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Cork's Jack Leahy in action against Cian Scully of Limerick. Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

Two years ago, Midleton lifted the Harty Cup for the fourth time, after a thrilling clash with Christians in front of a packed Páirc Uí Rinn. They also triumphed in 1988 and 2006, captained by Paudie O'Sullivan.

Known across the Imokilly division as a hurling hub, the strength in depth in the school saw them lift a remarkable nine hurling trophies throughout 2019, the last full competitive season before Covid-19 restrictions on school matches. Over 200 pupils are involved in hurling teams across all age groups and the school nurtures the development from first year to sixth year, fielding multiple teams at each level to cater for the demand.

Midleton CBS hurlers with their haul of nine trophies in 2019: Timmy Wilk (U14 Rice Cup), Justin Oke (U16 Cork Colleges), Kane Walsh (U14 Br Anselm Cup), Cillian Carroll (U18 Lord Mayors Cup C), Dylan Hogan (Dr Harty Cup), Cathal Hickey (U18 Lord Mayors Cup A) Tadhg O'Leary-Hayes (U14 Cork Colleges), Patrick Walsh (U14 Tom Scannell) and Daniel Murnane (U14 Jim Langton Cup).
Midleton CBS hurlers with their haul of nine trophies in 2019: Timmy Wilk (U14 Rice Cup), Justin Oke (U16 Cork Colleges), Kane Walsh (U14 Br Anselm Cup), Cillian Carroll (U18 Lord Mayors Cup C), Dylan Hogan (Dr Harty Cup), Cathal Hickey (U18 Lord Mayors Cup A) Tadhg O'Leary-Hayes (U14 Cork Colleges), Patrick Walsh (U14 Tom Scannell) and Daniel Murnane (U14 Jim Langton Cup).

Current Harty team coach Eamon O’Neil has 30 years of experience in schools hurling. When Cork teams are going well in those competitions, success at minor and U20 inevitably follows. 

"There is a strong coaching team now in place in the school and we are committed to developing players across all age groups and players of all abilities. We want hurling in Cork to thrive at all levels and we see sport as a big part of our education in Midleton CBS. 

We want to develop players that learn life skills through their development and their involvement in hurling. 

"We have a great relationship with the local clubs and this helps enormously and we are also assisted by Games Development Officer Sean Crowley who is extremely helpful in terms of support, resources and guidance. 

"Player development and school hurling competitions are everything for us but seeing so many present and past pupils reaching their potential with Cork is the cherry on top.” 

Midleton CBS present and past pupils involved this week:

Senior All-Ireland finalists

Ger Millerick (Fr O'Neill's), Seán O’Leary Hayes (Midleton), Diarmuid O’Sullivan (Cloyne).

2021 U20 All-Ireland winners

Sam Quirke (Midleton), Ciaran Joyce (Castlemartyr), Cathal Hickey (Lisgoold), Seán Walsh (Carrigtwohill).

2020 U20 All-Ireland winners

Sam Quirke (Midleton), Daragh Moran (Castlemartyr), Ciaran Joyce (Castlemartyr), Aaron Walsh Barry (Carrigtwohill).

Minor All-Ireland finalists

Adam Rooney, Daniel Murnane, Niall McCarthy (Carrigtwohill), Paudie O’Sullivan, Conor O’Leary (Fr O’Neill's), Dylan Costine (Cloyne), Tiernán Roche (Midleton), Diarmuid Healy (Lisgoold), Jack Leahy (Kiltha Óg), Timmy Wilk (Cobh).

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