Key sponsor of Ballygiblin GAA, T.J. Rea, Managing Director of Rea Refrigeration, (third left) pictured with mentors and club officers at the recent press night in Ballygiblin in advance of Saturday's final v Shanballymore in Fermoy, l-r: Diarmuid O'Sullivan (trainer), Liam O'Doherty (chairman), T.J. Rea (sponsor), Damien Cremins (manager), Joe O'Sullivan (selector), Cathal Murphy (selector), Eddie Barry (groundsman) and Jim Kenneally (selector). (Pic: The Avondhu)

Few would have paired Ballygiblin and Shanballymore in this year’s Hibernian Hotel, Mallow, sponsored North Cork junior A hurling final, set for Pairc MacGearailt, Fermoy on Saturday, September 1st, timed for 6pm.

While this competition has seen a host of clubs move on to higher grades in recent years, it remains a very prestigious title and is notoriously difficult to win.

Ballygiblin have threatened to break through for several years and under the influential guidance of head coach, Diarmuid ‘The Rock’ O’Sullivan, they feel, this could be their year. They have a wealth of talent at their disposal and in the right frame of mind are difficult to stop.

Opposing them are the surprise package of the 2018 campaign, Shanballymore – a team who have made a seamless transition from junior B to junior A hurling. A side that continues to improve with every outing, they are now a very focused, disciplined and determined outfit, who on their day, fancy their chances against anyone.

Loosely described as ‘a small club’, Shanballymore are in the final on merit and victory on Saturday would represent another massive step forward for this famed village.


A bumper crowd is expected to make its way to Pairc Mhic Gearailt in Fermoy on Saturday evening for the 6pm throw in. Both clubs are hurling strongholds and an ultra-competitive fixture is in prospect. It’s also an attractive match up for neutrals who are sure to travel in force.

In what has been an unforgettable year for ‘the small ball’, Saturday evening’s joust is primed to deliver a tight, fiercely contested hour of hurling. Match referee is David Copps (Ballyhea).

8-page special feature in this week’s Print & Digital Edition