Howard saves the day with equaliser
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.