Saturday 26 May 2018

O'Sullivan comeback boosts Rebels

John Tarrant

FROM the moment Paudie O'Sullivan first put on the Cloyne jersey in a county final at 15 years of age, it was another link of a family that's contributed enormously to the history of the famed East Cork club.

In doing so, the current Cork star follows in the footsteps of father Jerry, uncles and older brothers, all have contributing enormously to the history of hurling in Cloyne, East Cork and yonder. Currently Paudie holds the baton in terms of intercounty activity that's full of trials and tribulations on overcoming serious injury.

That comeback is bearing fruitition, contributing handsomely to Cork regaining the Munster title. Enduring heartbreak and pain from a double leg break in April 2013 playing for Imokilly against CIT in the county championship, his sporting career looked in jeopardy.

"All credit to the Cork physio Declan O'Sullivan and Dr Con Murphy for the work they undertook. I had my setbacks over the past year but not once did they give up on me", he said. "I'm delighted to be just back playing compared to sitting on the sideline last summer. You prepare all your life just to play in an All Ireland final, hopefully, I can get that chance this year".

Ruled out of the National Hurling League, O'Sullivan's perseverance paid off after coming off the bench against Waterford in the Munster quarter-final replay as he did against Clare and an earlier involvement against Limerick in the provincial showpiece was rewarded on netting an all important goal.

"It worked out perfectly to appear in the Munster championship. In the final, I didn't expect to make it so fast into the action. Unfortunately Patrick (Cronin) picked up an injury and one has to be prepared for what comes around," said O'Sullivan.

"Disappointingly, Cork had lost two championship finals last year but to put a trophy in 2014 onto the table is certainly a big boost to the side."

Bigger challenges lay ahead, first up is the return of one of the keenest rivalries in hurling, Cork and Tipp, albeit for the first time in an All Ireland semi-final at Croke Park.

"Its going to be a massive game, Tipp lost to Limerick earlier but have improved substantially to build up momentum and confidence.

"The last few occasions, they have defeated us comfortably and that will entail a big performance from Cork if we're to advance into another All Ireland final," he said.

For his dedication and sheer determination to resume his playing career, Paudie was receiving the monthly Midleton Park Hotel sponsored East Cork and District Sports Awards. County Mayor Cllr. Alan Coleman extended congratulations to Paudie and all associated with the Cork team.

"Paudie captained Midleton CBS to a Dr. Harty Cup win, a fabulous honour and he is following in the footsteps of his brother, Diarmuid the Rock. He won't be daunted by it, his incredible spirit and inner resolve to overcome rehabilitation from his injuries is a huge testament of Paudie's commitment and strength," said the County Mayor.