Preview - Castlelyons v Fr O Neill's PIHC 2017-06-23 00:01:00

'Winner take All' in Killeagh tomorrow evening Friday 23.6.17 at 7.30 pm.

Castlelyons face the might of Fr O Neills in a ‘winner take all’ premier intermediate hurling championship in Killeagh at 7.30 pm this Friday evening (23.6.17). Both teams fell at the first hurdle last April as Charleville defeated Fr O Neills on the score 1-16 to 2-12 and we were well beaten by Kanturk 3-12 to 1-13 on the same day. Now just north of six months into the year its very early for a team to go out of the championship. Both sides have strong support and there will be good interest from other clubs so hopefully we will have a bumper crowd and a cracking game as there is so much at stake.

The Fr O Neills men, all born to wear the red and the green, are really motoring this year. When one looks at their improvement it shows that when they played Charleville in the PIHC two years ago there was twenty points adrift but this year Charleville were lucky to scrape home by one point. Of course, O Neill’s are last year’s intermediate champions. They are also second in the Division One of the League with just three defeats and look the real deal.

Their trainer Noel Furlong is a real tactician and in his strategy bag he often pulls the lively Billy Dunne and powerful Declan Dalton into a two-man full forward line and will often use strong man Eoin Conway at full in a trad line up. He also uses Cillian Broderick as a third midfielder who pushes up at speed with gut busting runs forward. Mark O Keeffe is a lynchpin of the Imokilly senior team. They are very strong at the back also with Billy Murphy and Paudie Butler unyielding and the word is they are all are in top form. In fact, they are unbackable as my friend from the bookies advises me that Fr O Neills are four to nine (4 to 9) whereas Castlelyons are nearly 2 to 1 as they are fifteen to eight outsiders (15 to 8). So, they really deserve the “clear favourites” tag.

The Castlelyons manager, Mick Spillane, has a tougher scenario with several injuries and exams. Darren Tobin has suffered a serious knee injury and we wish him well in recovery. Jack Barry, Alan Fenton and Anthony Spillane are all nursing injuries with Jamie and Niall O Leary sitting their Leaving Cert and some more just completed third level exams. Our performance to date have been a little patchy as we had a mighty first half in the Kanturk game but fell off in the second half both in hurling and opponent tactics.

However, we had had some great results in the league and we are now second in Division 2 and have shown good form in recent challenge games. Overall, our lads have given excellent commitment this year and put in a lot of hard work. They really deserve a top result and I have no doubt they will work hard tomorrow evening. Surely, we will have learned from the Ballinhassig tactics over the last two years and if we have a good game plan ourselves we are in with a chance of causing an upset.

The weather on Friday evening is forecast as dry, overcast and warm. Killeagh pitch is in great condition and the local referee Ger Scully is a sound man on the whistle. So, all the conditions look good for a ‘cracker’. Let’s get the attitude and commitment up to top level and I think despite the hype we can do the business. Best of luck to our lads and our management outfit. Let’s get behind the team as you can’t bate being there. Castlelyons Abú.

Club Main Sponsor:  ZEUS Packaging Group - Products now available in Castlelyons Co-Op so don's forget to support by getting you Balewrap, Bale Net, Sileage Sheets, Baling Tape and Sileage Tape and a  lot more products. and 

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