Early birds Coláiste Treasa book place in Michael Cusack Cup final
By Damian Lawlor
At the start of the year the senior hurlers of Kanturk’s Coláiste Treasa asked to hold their training sessions before school.
“It was their request,” says mentor Cormac O’Connor.
“They are a very motivated bunch of lads and I have been dealing with them since first year and before that I would have been with teams that some of their older brothers were on also.
“When you have them first class in the morning then it’s clear to see who has trained and who hasn’t – they are jumping out of their skin,” he smiled.
Last weekend Coláiste Treasa delivered an impressive display to book their place in the Masita Post Primary GAA Michael Cusack Cup final with a deserved victory over Holy Rosary College, Mountbellew at Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale.
The Kanturk team put in a solid performance against unfavourable elements.
“That’s what I see most from them,” O’Connor says.
“When their backs are to the wall and the stage is its biggest, they usually respond.”
Mountbellew fielded Minor Hurler of the Year Seán McDonagh and the Galway starlet caught the opposing defence off guard in the early stages of the game when he smashed home a free.
But by the end Coláiste Treasa had overcome their opponents. Brian O’Sullivan and Calum O’Shaughnessy played key roles in securing the scores for a fine win.
“A real team effort,” O’Connor says.
“We draw from the clubs in the region and have players from Kanturk, Banteer, Dromtariffe, Newmarket, Castlemagner, Kilbrin and Kilshannig all involved.
“A good few of the lads have been with regional development squads and Cork minor squads and they bring great experience with them.”
All year long Coláiste Treasa have displayed a strong worth ethic, resilience and no little skill in their march to the final against Boyne CS. Earlier campaign wins against both Patrician Academy, Mallow and Scoil Pól, Kilfinane prepared them for the victory over Mountbellew and there appears to be a great balance to this sider. Goalkeeper Grantis Bucinskas is a steady pair of hands behind the likes of Cian O’Sullivan, Mickey Browne and Eamon Hayes.
Freetaker Brian O’Sullivan is another fine player while the Walsh brothers, Colin and Alan, and their cousin Tommy are also skilled operators.
“We have been working hard on this since September,” O’Connor adds. “They lads have put a huge amount into it but they know too that there is a good balance there between their studies and hurling too – both can work very well together.”
A mixed school with around 550 pupils, Cork stars Aidan Walsh and Lorcan McLoughlin are former students who will no doubt look on with interest to see if their alma mater can deliver a national title.
“Hopefully we can do it,” O’Connor continues, “but no matter what happens these guys are very impressive. They have worked hard with their clubs and we focus a lot of handling and ballwork. The conditions are not easy this time of year and serious questions have been asked of the boys at various stages this season but they have responded so far.”