Saturday, 22nd September 2018
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The Rebels are rising

For three of the last four years the under 14 hurlers of Cork have completed the double in taking the Tony Forristal/Sonny Walsh tournaments. The finals which were held in Walsh Park last Saturday week proved once again a happy hunting ground for the lads from Leeside as they beat Kilkenny in the Tony Forristal and beat Tipperary in the Sonny Walsh tournament final.


The tournament which is sponsored by Club Deise and is in it's 37th year has become the Premier competition for all under 14 years and remains a dream for all hurling lads as they move into their teen years. It commemorates the memory of Tony Forristal who died in 1981 as a result of a road accident while travelling home with the Waterford under 21 team of which he was the trainer. Tony who was employed at Waterford Crystal was also deeply involved as a trainer with his club Mount Sion and with the Waterford Glass Senior Hurling team.


Sonny Walsh one of the men behind the idea of the tournament and he died in 1983 while training the juvenile hurlers of his club De La Salle. Sonny, a former intercounty player, was also a member of Waterford Glass GAA Club and he liked nothing better than coaching the skills of the game to young hurlers in his beloved De La Salle club.


The driving force behind the tournament since it's foundation until his untimely death in 2003 at the age of 48 was Larry Quinn. The Mount Sion clubman was a member of Waterford Bord na nOg for many years and it is a fitting tribute to Larry that the tournament has gone from strength to strength over the years. A Waterford Crystal Trophy to commemerate his memory was commisioned and is presented each year to the man of the match in the Division One final. The trophy is on display in Mount Sion GAA Centre with the winning player's name inscribed on the plinth.


Throughout the day teams from far and wide competed to get to the final in Walsh Park on Saturday afternoon. The organisation that goes with it is unbelieveable and thanks to the dedicated committee, the ladies committees, the referees, the stewards and all who gave of their service it was a superb day and admission was all free. Once again one can say "2018 another huge success". With all preliminary and knockout games taking place in Erin's Own, Mount Sion, St Saviours and Walsh Park the steady stream of spectators were well catered for and nourished at all venues.

Waterford 'A' competed in Mount sion but defeat to eventual runners-up Kilkenny scuppered their chances although they had a comprehensive win over Tipperary 2-14 to 1-7, in their second outing. The lads from Noreside went on to qualify for the final where they faced a really impressive Cork outfit who beat Limerick, Wexford and Laois and all rather comprehensively. This set up a final encounter between great rivals Cork and Kilkenny.


In the Sonny Walsh Tournament it was Cork who finally won through with wins over Kerry, Galway and Clare. Indeed the lads from the Kingdom very nearly had a shock win over the Rebels as they went down narrowly 2-10 to 2-8. On the other side of the draw Tipperary had narrow wins over Limerick (0-11 to 2-4), Dublin (3-3 to 2-5) and Offaly (0-10 to 2-2). And so Cork back looking for a double tournament victory faced Tipperary in the Sonny Walsh Final.


Cork and Kilkenny served up a thriller in the Tony Forristal final with the Rebels coming through 2-15 to 3-6. However the Leesiders who led by seven at the break were pushed all the way as the Cats had reduced the lead to three points with ten minutes remaining. That was as close as it got as Cork closed out the game with some superb points. Following the final whistle captain Shane Kennedy from St Finbarr's club was delighted to receive the trophy for his team while Harry Nevin from Douglas was selected as man of the match.

In the 'B' final Cork again prevailed, beating Tiperary in a penalty shootout following a 2-7 apiece draw. Certainly heady times for Cork underage hurling and no doubt we will hear a lot more of these hurling stars.


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