Monday 18 March 2019

A celebration of the year in Avondhu

Paddy Ryan was in attendance at the Avondhu GAA Man of the Match social at the Hibernian Hotel on Friday night. Here he reflects on a successful season for the board, its clubs and players

Cork Ladies Football players Marie O’Callaghan and Doireann O’Sullivan and Shane Ronayne Coach accepting their Awards from John O’Donnell chairman of Avondhu GAA Board at the awards night in Hibernian Hotel
Cork Ladies Football players Marie O’Callaghan and Doireann O’Sullivan and Shane Ronayne Coach accepting their Awards from John O’Donnell chairman of Avondhu GAA Board at the awards night in Hibernian Hotel
Niamh Cooney (centre) who accepted the Avondhu Hall of Fame Award on behalf of her father Sean Cooney, at a function at the Hibernian Hotel Mallow on Friday night, l-r: Barry Ahern, vice-chairman, Avondhu Board; John Courtney, PRO; John Roche, Treasurer; Niamh Cooney; John O'Donnell, Chairman, Avondhu Board; Denis Hickey, Avondhu Board and Denis Twomey, Secretary, Avondhu Board

There was a very large attendance at the Avondhu Board annual Man of the match social in the Hibernian Hotel on Friday night last.

John O'Donnell, chairman, presided. In his address he spoke of the various championship and league competitions during the year outlining that of the 20 competitions played there were 15 different club winners in the division with Dungourney winning the Division 1 Hurlng League from the Imokilly division.

There was a very good spread of winners with Kilshannig winning three championship titles in football. Facing into the new season he stated that all clubs will be fully charged with outright success on their minds.

He then proceeded to present the 'man of the match' awards to the various winners in the eight championships as follows.

Junior A Hurling Championship final

Diarmuid Buckley, one of victories Dromina's younger players, played a starring role accounting for 0-5 from play. A player for the future he has represented Cork on the Cork Minor Hurling panel of 2014.

He was a key player with the 'Shandrum team at Under 21 and Minor level this year. They were involved in a thrilling game with Duhallow in the Co quarter final but lost to Carrigaline in the semi final. Diarmuid a son of Ger who gave outstanding service to Dromina and Avondhu over the years. He was a worthy recipient from the JAHC final.

Junior A Football Championship final

Killian O'Hanlon contributed 0-6 in the final 0-5 from frees.

He played Cork minor two years ago and was a member of the Cork Under 21 Football side that won the Munster title in 2014. Killian was also a key player in bringing the Under 21 B FC title to the club in 2014.

Equally as good a hurler Killian has a very bright future. It marked a great season for Kilshannig who won the JAFC, JBFC(2) and Under 21 A FC titles.

Junior B Hurling Championship final

Ballyclough's Thomas O'Neill, scored 1-4 in the final, was a worthy winner of the man of the match.

He also played a vital role in his side's win over Dromtarriffe in the County JBHC (1) final replay. In the Division 3 hurling league final Ballyclough again with Thomas O'Neill as one of their key players emerged winners over Ballygiblin by 2-23 to 3-5 in a game where he scored 1-3.

Junior C Hurling championship final

This was the first year of the Junior C Hurling championship. It marked the first championship success for Churchtown in many years.

The game against Milford was played in Dromina in early October. Michael Doyle came out of retirement this year to play with the Junior C side. He figured very prominently with two goals in the first half. Milford rallied well in the second half, but Churchtown held the lead and in the end they had a 2-10 to 1- 9 win.

Michael Doyle with his two goals showed his great experience around the square. He was a deserving winner of man of the match.

Junior B (1) Football final

The Junior B (1) football final was between neighbours Grange and Ballyhooly in Kilworth.

Grange got off to a brilliant start and they led 2-1 to 0- 0 after nin minutes. By half time they were in front 2-3 to 0-2. Ballyhooly improved on the restart and they had some good points. Darragh O'Reilly scored a brilliant goal that had the sides level 2-3 to 1-6. From here on the momentum was with Ballyhooly who ran out deserving winners by 1-9 to 2- 3.

Darragh O'Reilly one of the younger players on the Ballyhooly team dominated at midfield scoring 1-2 that day and he was certainly worthy of 'man of the match'.

Under 21 A FC final

Killian O'Connor was outstanding at midfield all through. Mallow held an interval lead 1-5 to 0-3. Fermoy the defending champions put in a huge effort in the second half. They were repulsed on many occasions.

The display of Killian O'Connor proved vital in the end as Mallow won by 1-9 to 0- 7. He has been on Co panelists with Cork at Minor and Under 21 level. He is also a key member of Mallow Intermediate hurling and football sides.

Under 21 B FC final

Kilshannig and Buttevant met in this Under 21 B FC final.

Throughout Kilshannig held the upperhand. Owen O'Sullivan scored two goals and had a hand in the third one. He also came on as a sub in the JAFC final and scored two late points. He was a worthy winner of the 'man of the match' in the Under 21 B FC final where Kilshannig came out on top by 3-10 to 1-10.

Under 21 B HC final

The Under 21 B HC final was between Kilworth and Ballygiblin.

Kilworth had recorded a huge win over the reigning champions Clyda Rovers by 4-15 to 1-10 and many people said they should have been in A grade. The final in Araglin in mid September saw Ballygiblin with a massive performance run out deserving winners.

They had an outstanding centre back in Michael Walsh who broke up many Kilworth attacks and turned defence into attack on numerous occasions. In the end Ballygiblin ran out victors by 0-15 to 0- 11. Michael Walsh's defensive display made him a worthy man of the match.

The chairman then presented the referees of the various finals with their presentation. He paid tribute to John Sexton of Ballyhea who had refereed at all levels over the past 23 years.

John a native of Bruree refereed in Limerick before moving to Ballyhea where he took charge of many games in Cork, Munster and at All Ireland level. The following referees were honoured:

Michael Sheehan Junior A HC

Justin Murphy Junior B HC Div 2 FL finals

Eoin Walsh Junior C HC

Denis O'Leary Div 1 HL final

Noel O'Regan Div 2 HL and Under 21 B HC

Michael O'Kelly Div 3 HL

Ciaran O'Regan Under 21 C HC

John Sexton Naughton Cup

Walter Cole Coughlan Cup

Michael Sheedy JAFC & Under 21 AFC final

John O'Brien Junior B FC

Denis Curtin JBFC (2) and Div 3 FL

Dave Farrell Div 1 FL

John O'Leary Under 21 B FC and Thomas Harold Under 21 C FC

The Chairman also made a presentation to the retiring Officers Denis Hickey (Ballyhooly), Treasurer and Paddy Ryan (Ballygiblin) Cultural Officer. Denis Hickey had completed four of his five year term but had to retire due to work commitment.

Paddy Ryan had completed the statutory three year term. Both outgoing officers thanked the Board for their kind recognition. The chairman welcomed the new Treasurer John Roche, Clyda Rovers and Michael Sheehan, Liscarroll as the new Cultural Officer.

There was a presentation also made to Liam Hayes Dromina who was coach of the Cork Intermediate Hurlers who won the Munster and All Ireland titles in 2014. The seven players on the winning panel were also honoured as follows - Alan Dennehy (Charleville) Brian O'Sullivan (Fermoy) Tadhg Healy (Buttevant) Michael Walsh (Kildorrery) Peter O'Brien (Kildorrery) Cormac Mufrphy (Mallow) and Adrian Mannix (Kilworth).

In 2014 Milford Senior Camogie team won the Munster and All Ireland senior championships with Anna Geary, Aisling Thompson and Marie Walsh playing starring roles in Cork's win in the Camogie All Ireland Senior final.

Anna Geary had the honour of captaining Cork to All Ireland glory this season. All three were presented with an award. George Fitzgibbon (Milford) was a selector and was also honoured.

The Chairman paid tribute to the great work being done by the North Cork Primary Schools who promote hurling and football year after year since 1985.

A cheque was presented to Anne Marie Burke Chairperson to help promote the games for the coming year. Anne Marie thanked the Board for their generous support year after year.

The 'Hall of Fame' award had been presented at Convention to Sean Cooney as he was unavailable to be present at the social. John O'Donnell outlined the contribution made to the GAA of Sean Cooney (Mallow) as a player, administrator, referee over many years.

His daughter Niamh accepted a replica of the trophy on his behalf. Cork Ladies had another very successful year winning the All Ireland Senior title for the ninth time in 10 years.

The following Clyda Rovers players who were members of the Cork side were honoured Doireann O'Sullivan, Ciara O'Sullivan, Roisin O'Sullivan, Maire O'Callaghan.

Shane Ronayne who was a selector with the Cork team was also honoured. Shane Ronayne was also coach to the Mourneabbey Ladies side that reached the All Ireland SFC final paid tribute to the Board for their kind presentation and also thanked the many members and clubs who supported the Ladies both at Cork and Mourneabbey level over the years.