Mitchelstown embrace county win after more than half a century
Sunday brought with it a moment in history for Mitchelstown, as the junior footballers brought home the county title for the first time in 52 years.
Captained by Shane Beston, the players battled through inclement weather to come out victorious over St Colums and while it was a fantastic win for the team and all those who work in the background, it was a great boost for Mitchelstown as a town as well.
Vice President of the club, Jim Skinner said that it was an amazing day for everyone and that the county title could be a sign of good things to come for Mitchelstown.
"Success breeds success and now after this, things might brighten up," he said, adding that the title could inspire some more young people to try out GAA and represent their town on the pitch.
Jim said that the match was tense at times, as it looked like the title was slipping away at one point, but the players got a second win and fought for the title.
"It's time to get back to ground now," Jim said, adding that the win was as much for the supporters, as it was for the players, because people have been waiting for this for an awfully long time.
Hundreds of people turned out to welcome the team home on Sunday night and club chairman, Gary Coleman told The Avondhu that the work put in by the players over the last three years really paid off when they saw the welcome awaiting them at home in Mitchelstown.
While the weather on Sunday was absolutely atrocious, Gary said that the field was in good condition and he said that even if it was snowing, Mitchelstown would have played on, if it meant having the chance to bring the county title home.
For Mitchelstown, the victory was all the sweeter, bearing in mind the defeats that they have had to deal with over the years.
"The Avondhu division is so hard to get out of and our hearts have been broken many times," Gary said, adding that things were in their favour on the day.
He added that they had great support on the day, with people from Mayo, Wexford, Dublin, West Cork and America all supporting them in Pairc Ui Rinn because of their own Mitchelstown connections.
"We all shared in that moment together," Gary said.
He added that there have been 18 club chairmen since Mitchelstown last brought the coveted county title home, so it's a great privilege for him to be chairman at this time.
Gary stressed that while the players were the ones out there on the field, winning the title was a real community effort in every sense.
"Everyone in the town has been a part of our journey, whether they raised a few pennies, kicked a ball, washed jerseys or drove to matches - everyone should feel that they won a county medal the other day," he said.
He also thanked the rugby club and Park United, everyone who has supported them along the way and The Avondhu for coverage of matches and notes down through the years.
Avid GAA supporter and councillor Frank O'Flynn was at the match on Sunday and said that he was delighted for the team and he will be putting up a motion at the Northern Area Committee meeting in Mallow on Monday to congratulate the team.
"It's a tremendous honour for the club, the players, the officers and supporters," he said.
Mitchelstown will be playing the Munster quarter final against Keel from Kerry in Fermoy on Sunday, November 17 at 2pm.
See pages 74 and 75 for full match coverage and pictures.
Thursday 14th November 6:26pm