All-Ireland winners Tomás Mulcahy, Jim Cashman, Teddy McCarthy and Tony O’Sullivan are some of the former stars involved in a proposal to reorganise the Lord Mayor’s Cup competition with an aim to revitalise the game at secondary school level in the city.
“It’s been a hobby horse of mine for a good while,” Tomás Mulcahy said yesterday.
“The decline in standards in city hurling, particularly when it comes to participation in the Harty Cup and so forth, isn’t helping the game in the city generally and Cork teams at minor level and above.
“Some of us felt something should be done so we’ve been meeting to discuss what could be done to raise standards.”
Mulcahy says the reaction they’ve had so far to their proposals has been very positive.
“The aim is to run the Lord Mayor’s Cup competition off within eight weeks, and some of the innovations proposed, like the penalty shoot-out in the event of a draw, would help with getting it finished on time. We’ve had a very good reaction from schools, because many of them might have six or seven hurlers who could improve in a competitive environment, but they mightn’t have a full team.”
Originally the Lord Mayor’s Cup was aimed at promoting the game in “non-traditional” schools like Presentation Brothers College and Christians Brothers College within Cork.
However, with the decline in the number of schools in the city — and its outer suburbs — competing at the standard required to develop and provide players for future Harty Cup competitions and Cork minor teams, the group proposes to revamp the Lord Mayor’s Cup by involving 24 schools in the area in the form of eight individual teams and two groups of four to eight teams, depending on amalgamations.
It’s proposed that each school provide seven players to make up a panel of 21 players for the amalgamated sides, with each team to be managed by two former or current Cork hurlers along with a teacher from each school).
Each team will play three matches, with the top two progressing to semi-finals and thence to a final (and a shield final for the defeated semi-finalists).
Training sessions before the competition will be taken by former and current Cork hurlers and the age group for competition is to be confined in the first year to U18 in 2015 (eligible for Cork minor in 2015).
It’s also proposed to introduce the following innovations in the competition: a sideline ball scored direct to be awarded two points; a goal scored from ground stroke to be worth four points; a semi-penalty will have only the goalkeeper facing the free-taker; and catching a puck out between the two 65s will result in a free puck for the catcher.
An official launch on October 1 is planned for the City Hall Chambers and the proposed school combinations are:
A. (Blarney, Ballincollig CS, Coláiste Choilm).
B. (Rochestown College, Passage, Nagle Community College).
C. (Coláiste an Piarsaig, Glanmire Community, Mayfield).
D. (Christians Brothers College, North Mon, Mon AG).
E. (St Aidan’s, Carraig Na Bhfear, Terence McSwiney).
F. (Presentation College, Douglas CS, Coláiste Dabhid).
G. (Coláiste An Spioráid Naoimh, Colaiste Chríost Rí , Deerpark , Bishopstown CS).
I. (Carrigaline CS, Crosshaven, Kinsale).