Hero O’Farrell: Carrig fairytale can’t be topped

HE collected a treasure trove of hurling medals at club and inter-county level in the decade before last but for Seanie O’Farrell, Sunday afternoon eclipsed all of those feats.

Between 1995 and 1999, O’Farrell was part of Cork squads that won All-Ireland medals at minor, U21 and senior levels, soldiering alongside the likes of Donal Óg Cusack and Seán Óg Ó hAilpín.

At local level, O’Farrell was part of the East Cork divisional outfit Imokilly that won successive county senior hurling titles in 1997 and 98.

However, in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon, the 34-year-oldexperienced the glory that he had craved when his club Carrigtwohill bridged a 93-year gap by lifting the Cork senior hurling title.

To embellish the fairytale element further, O’Farrell landed the 59th-minute point that sealed a 0-15 to 1-11 victory over third-level outfit Cork IT.

O’Farrell was sprung in the 47th minute of the clash by manager James O’Connor and after suffering a series of injury setbacks, it was his first time featuring in Carrigtwohill’s 2011 championship campaign.

“I couldn’t have written the script for this one,” reflected the former county star. “It’s just unbelievable. I have county and All-Ireland medals but this is way better. It’s just the icing on the cake.”

O’Farrell has made notable contributions to his club in the past with his penchant for grabbing goals from his full-forward berth surfacing, most strikingly when he fired 3-1 when Carrigtwohill rose to senior with their 2007 Cork premier intermediate final success. But on Sunday, it was his ability to raise a white flag that was instrumental in settling a dramatic encounter.

“I saw the ball in front of me and picked it up. I was looking for my man and he was a bit away from me, so I said I’d have a cut off it. I’m sureanyone else would have scored it. But the other lads were fantastic on the day, particularly Niall McCarthy.

“I can’t talk highly enough of Niall, he’s just unbelievable. His heart and soul is in Carrig. He’s the hero for the young fellas in Carrig with what he’s achieved with Cork and he’d be my hero as well.”

And O’Farrell paid tribute to the role of manager O’Connor, the Lismore native who has inter-county playing experience with Waterford and previously coached the Déise U21 side, since taking up the reins in Carrigtwohill at the start of 2010.

“James O’Connor has been the right man to bring it out of us. He’s just unbelievable. There’ll be a statue of him in Carrig before the year is out. He brought great belief to the team as we’d have lost games like Sunday a few years ago.

“We were up for a battle on Sunday and we felt if we could bring our physicality to the table, it would be a big help.”

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