Howard saves the day with equaliser

Irish Examiner - County - - News - John Tar­rant

De­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Finian O’Sul­li­van, along with his fel­low pitch com­mit­tee mem­bers, has played an in­te­gral role in en­sur­ing the de­vel­op­ments con­tinue apace ever since the con­struc­tion work started on June 12.

A lot of work has been done in the in­ter­ven­ing weeks, re­vealed the de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer. “We are de­lighted with the progress. All the fenc­ing has been taken out and the ex­ist­ing pitch has been pushed back. Main drains have been put down and the top­soil has been brought in.

“Every seven me­tres along the pitch there are drains, in be­tween them at only one me­tre apart are sand trenches which were im­ple­mented by ma­chine. Over time the sand will drop down which will help im­prove the drainage sig­nif­i­cantly.”

The di­men­sions of Wolfe Tone Park have also changed since the de­vel­op­ment work started, said O’Sul­li­van.

“The pitch when it is fin­ished will be 140m long be­tween the goal lines. It was ini­tially around 133m long.

“We had plenty of width be­fore so we are happy to stay with the same di­men­sions width wise. Our width will be the full 90m.”

The work at Wolfe Tone Park, which is widely con­sid­ered one of the best places to view a game in the Carbery di­vi­sion, is set to con­tinue un­abated in the com­ing weeks should the weather clerk oblige.

“A lot of the next block of work is weather de­pen­dent. The next work will in­volve the trench­ing. When that is com­plete it will be ready for grass seed.

“There are three sets of grass seed which will be planted which the ex­perts rec­om­mend as it con­sists of a mix­ture of courser and lighter grass which en­sures it is a bet­ter car­pet.

“There will be a sand car­pet then on top of that.

“The grass will then be al­lowed to grow ac­cord­ingly.

“We will then do the nec­es­sary fenc­ing work while the banks have to be ti­died up.

“We will then be­gin work on a walk­way which will be two me­tres around the pitch which the play­ers can use for jog­ging etc or club mem­bers can use as a means of ex­er­cise.”

The last time ma­jor re­de­vel­op­ment work was car­ried out on the Wolfe Tone Park was in the mid-1970s.

The venue has hosted a sub­stan­tial amount of big games since and has pro­vided both the Carbery and County Board with great fa­cil­i­ties every time they have availed of the su­perb venue.

The Bantry GAA Club felt the time was right to re­lay the pitch and carry out de­vel­op­ment work to their beloved home.

“You have to move with the times. The new drainage sys­tem will be so mod­ern. It will clear the wa­ter very quick. It will be a huge help to us as we tra­di­tion­ally suf­fered af­ter a heavy rain­fall. It will serve us go­ing for­ward for a very long time.”

O’Sul­li­van and his col­leagues are hop­ing all the prac­ti­cal work on the new pitch and the sur­round­ing ar­eas such as the fenc­ing and banks will be fin­ished by the end of Septem­ber.

They plan then to let the new pitch set­tle for as long as pos­si­ble so it beds in prop­erly to its new sur­round­ings.

“It is im­por­tant the roots bed in prop­erly. We will be do­ing the first cuts and main­tain­ing the new pitch to per­fec­tion.

“All pitch con­sul­tants ad­vise clubs to let the new pitch bed in for as long as pos­si­ble so they get the max­i­mum ben­e­fit out of it down the line.”

The fi­nance for the de­vel­op­ment work in Wolfe Tone Park was raised mainly through grants and lo­cal fundrais­ing, said O’Sul­li­van.

“We got a sports cap­i­tal grant and a Cork County Coun­cil amenity grant.

“We did a lot of fundrais­ing our­selves to make it pos­si­ble.

“We raise money through the club draw and the lotto.

“We have great club mem­bers who re­ally drive these fundrais­ing ini­tia­tives on.

“It is a big un­der­tak­ing on our part so we will be ap­ply­ing for more grant aid to re­live the fi­nan­cial bur­den on the club.”

Bantry Blues boast very strong mem­ber­ship lev­els.

The club has 353 male mem­bers and 151 fe­male, with 133 non-play­ing mem­bers which in­di­cates how big a role the Blues play in their lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“Our mem­ber­ship is very strong and is grow­ing which is great.

“We have a very strong ladies club while our un­der­age club are do­ing great work which is cru­cial as they are the next gen­er­a­tion.

“It is im­por­tant to pro­vide state of the art fa­cil­i­ties so our play­ers can prac­tice in a nice and safe en­vi­ron­ment for them to im­prove their skills.”

Bantry also pos­sess a train­ing pitch lo­cated ad­ja­cent to Wolfe Tone Park, an all-weather pitch which was con­structed in re­cent years, an im­pres­sive gym which club mem­bers built them­selves and a hurl­ing wall.

The am­bi­tious club also have plans in place to carry out de­vel­op­ment work on their train­ing pitch.

The club is gear­ing up for a bright fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to O’Sul­li­van.

“We are in the process of buy­ing land which we will then use to make our train­ing pitch a full-sized pitch.

“When ev­ery­thing is com­pleted in the next few years we will have a great set-up, which our play­ers de­serve.” DROMTARIFFE staged their ver­sion of the great es­cape to live to fight an­other day af­ter a 58th minute equal­is­ing goal from Seán Howard sal­vaged a draw with Kil­brin in a dra­matic con­clu­sion to the Twohig’s Su­perValu Duhal­low Ju­nior A Hurl­ing League Fi­nal at Lis­mire on Satur­day evening.

As the con­test de­vel­oped, Kil­brin ap­peared that bit sharper when it came to for­ag­ing for pos­ses­sion ow­ing much to the dom­i­nance of Daniel Shea­han, William Egan, Neil Field and O’Reilly. And Kil­brin re­ceived a boost on 17 min­utes, Eoin Shea­han’s ef­fort blocked only for Paudie O’Cal­laghan to tap home the re­bound.

Now Kil­brin were on a roll, points from O’Reilly, Daniel and David O’Sul­li­van helped se­cure a 1-11 to 0-9 grip at the break. The restart brought a spir­ited re­sponse from Dromtariffe with points to Stephen Ah­ern and Howard.

How­ever, the pen­du­lum swung back to Kil­brin, a great move ini­ti­ated by Egan saw Eoin Shea­han lay off to Field to net that helped forge a 2-14 to 0-12 ad­van­tage mid way through the sec­ond half. It left Dromtariffe fac­ing a huge chal­lenge which they em­braced en­thu­si­as­ti­cally and with no lit­tle ef­fi­ciency.

In­deed Dromtariffe never lost faith in their own abil­ity as Mikey O’Gor­man, Kevin Cremin, Jack Mur­phy and Daniel O’Ke­effe thun­dered into the fray. Scor­ing wise, Howard led the way with points from play and frees with Mark O’Con­nor and O’Ke­effe also on the mark to cut the lee­way to two.

Kil­brin ap­peared to weather the storm af­ter O’Reilly clipped over their only score in the clos­ing quar­ter. How­ever Dromtariffe weren’t found want­ing and grabbed a reprieve on win­ning a close in free, Howard had only one des­ti­na­tion for the slio­thar, though partly blocked, the ball’s mo­men­tum crossed the white line for par­ity.

De­vel­op­ment work cur­rently on­go­ing in Wolfe Tone Park, Bantry. The Bantry Blues GAA Club are in the process of re­lay­ing a new pitch, erect­ing fenc­ing, and con­struct­ing a walk-way around the pitch.

‘When ev­ery­thing is com­pleted in the next few years we will have a great set-up, which our play­ers de­serve,’ says Finian O’Sul­li­van.

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