Bishopstown lads’ appearance in Croke Park was ‘stuff of dreams’ for local club
Cork captain Pa Cronin and teammate Shane O’Neill came up through GAA club
Cork supporters Sarah McSweeney and Mariah Sheehan at Bishopstown GAA club during yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Provision
Briain Higgins (3) at Bishopstown GAA club during yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Provision
Michaella Sheehan at Bishopstown GAA club during yesterday’s All-Ireland hurling final. Photograph: Provision
A nail-biting conclusion without the desired result led to a feeling of dejection at Bishopstown GAA club yesterday, home to Cork captain Pa Cronin and his teammate Shane O’Neill.
However, even with the disappointment of a draw, the players’ appearance in the final was still the “stuff of dreams”, according to club spokesman, Jim Ryng.
Mr Ryng said yesterday’s final was a “a day they thought they would never see”.
“Having the captain of the team [come from here] means a lot to us. The two boys involved here have been very loyal players. They have always been very willing to come to camps to help with coaching.
“It was a very close game. From a Cork point of view, with 10 minutes to go we would have been happy to take a draw. If you look at the overall game you would have to say Clare didn’t deserve to lose.”
Alan Costelloe, who was watching the match at the club. said everyone thought Cork had it in the bag. However, unfortunately Clare got the equaliser to spoil the party.
“It was a fantastic game and I think everybody enjoyed it. It was a very close game. It was a fair result seeing as Clare were leading and seemed to be the hungrier team. At the end of the day, a fair result and the next day should decide it.”
Yesterday’s big-screen showing of the match at the club was attended by dozens of youngsters.
Shane and Pa have been an inspiration for children such as Seosaimh Barrett (10) who was hoping he would get off homework following a big win.
Seosaimh, who attends nearby Gaeilscoil Uí Riada, said there was major excitement in school in the build up to the match.
“We did art work about the match. I have seen them [Shane and Pa] training. It is great.”
Bishopstown GAA supporter Paula O’Sullivan said she was particularly pleased to see her former neighbour Shane O’Neill play in the final.
“He is an absolute gent. I am delighted to see him in the final. It has been very exciting.”
“It is a fantastic moment for the club to see Pa and Shane O’Neill and Johnny Crowley [Cork selector from Bishopstown] so involved. I remember Pa and Shane as little players. It is a dream come true to have them in the final.”
Club chairman Dennis Crowley, who was also in Dublin for the match, said it was a “big day” for Bishopstown.
“Having a club man captain a team in the All Ireland. It is a great moment. One we will never forget here in Bishopstown.”
The Cork hurling team have been buoyed by the support of, amongst others, Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan, who attended the match at Croke Park yesterday.
Lord Mayor of Cork Catherine Clancy remains confident the Liam McCarthy cup will make its way to Leeside.
“We are behind the team and we are very confident that we can bring the cup home. They have done us proud so far and given us all such a boost.”