The North Cork Champions (by William Shanahan)
Yes, the Ballyhea hurling team have proved themselves supreme
In winning the North Cork Championship,
They were tested and tried but took all in their stride,
They await now their next county trip.
The venue was Buttevant, the day wasn't good,
The pitch it was greasy and bare,
An odd slip and fall as they raced for the ball,
But they played on with never a care.
We hadn't long to wait when the white flag went up,
As the Champions notched up their first score,
With points each from O'Connor and Daly,
Both useful wing forwards to core.
As the going was sogging and heavy,
Ballyhea played the ball on approach,
And their style and attack laid the groundwork
For their victory over Castletownroche.
The scoreboard at this time showed even,
When Behan took a pass from Joe Walsh,
Which he planted with cunning and guidance,
In the back of the net with one wrench.
This lead made the Champions determined,
Not to let victory slip or be marred,
When Dave Donoghue and stalwart Tim Griffin,
Lifted two points well over the bar.
At midfield the play broke somewhat even.
Where the opponents were combined and tough,
But O'Donoghue and "Packie" played their men there,
If at times it appeared a bit rough.
As the referee's whistle sounded half-time,
Ballyhea had a lead of two goals,
As they rested to get back their second wind,
They vowed the trophy they'd bring home.
When the game was resumed Timmy Griffin
Took the ball on the ground in his stride,
His aim for the net was true and steady,
And the green flag was lifted with pride.
The back line held a solid defensive,
With John and Jerome Keeffe at half-back,
And Paddy Byrne right there in the centre,
With "Stonewall Jackson" Jim Walsh at full back.
They indeed proved their mettle when tested,
Every time the assault came their way,
As they covered that great little goalie,
John Hogan, the player of the day.
We salute and congratulate the champions,
In winning this great honour that day,
And bringing the Avondhu Cup home with them,
To their parish and friends in Ballyhea.
We salute, too the Old Gael that steered them
He himself who starred on many a day
I refer to their President, the "Tyler"
And how could we forget Johnny Rea
The above poem was written on the occasion of Ballyhea's victory over Castletownroche in the 1959 North Cork Junior Hurling Final.
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