Clare Champions Superb

2016 Munster Club Senior Hurling Final:

Ballyea (Clare) v Glen Rovers (Cork)

Just how far down the hurling radar Cork hurling has sunk was demonstrated in Thurles on Sunday 20th November 2106. Cork, aside from Glen Rovers, needed a huge facelift much moreso than Clare.

 

Glen Rovers fought gallantly but victory was never really scented for the Corkmen over the full hour. Ballyea had Tony Kelly and quite a few more generals in their ranks whilst Glen Rovers, without Graham Callinan in top form once again, would have been dead and buried long before the final whistle.

 

Looking to Pat Horgan to perform a Thurles miracle and rise majestically into scoring action from open play, was a huge burden and miles out of his reach. But the Glen did not lose because Pat Horgan did not sparkle.

 

Ballyea had quality all over the park and it will take a superior all round team performance from any of the teams now left with aspirations to become All Ireland Club senior hurling champions in 2017 to stop the Claremen on  their march to glory. 

 

Cork hurling was again downtrodden and the new Pairc ui Chaoimh stadium will not remedy the current plight of Cork hurling. Glen Rovers fought tigerishly and after back to back Cork county titles, Cork fans outside of Glen Rovers territory, were not committing to the possibility of a Cork victory all through the week.

The general consensus is that Cork senior club championship hurling is at an all time low standard and resurrection in the immediate term is most unlikely.

 

How could such a great traditional hurling county fade into almost oblivion?

Someone, somewhere, closed their eyes to the annual destitution at senior club level and believed that their tradition would reinvent a rebel rouse. More importantly senior teams are fed by rising stars coming out of minor ranks and it is at under age and particularly schools hurling, that Cork went into a major slumber. 

Rank and file club fans attending under age matches in Cork city and county knew for years that Cork hurling was in a really bad place but no emergency plans were put in place to attempt a recovery of Cork's hurling pride.

 

Kilkenny and Tipperary are now so far ahead of the Leesiders that placing Cork at the top table is not possible. Hurling needs a vibrant Cork to be challenging for all the major honours but the demise of Cork minors and under 21's over the last 10 years has come home to roost.

 

Someone Somewhere needs to stand up and say it - as it is - heading in to 2017. That will not happen.

Meantime a delightful exhibition of classic hurling exhibited by Ballyea deservedly brought home their first ever Munster senior club title and following up on their maiden Clare senior title win, a new sparkling hurling name has arrived from the east coast of Clare.

Congratulations on both historic triumphs.