Cork Senior Hurling Championship
|Cork Senior Hurling Championship|
|Irish||Craobh Iomána Sinsearach Chorcaí|
|Trophy||Seán Óg Murphy Cup|
|Title holders||Sarsfield's (6th title)|
|Most titles||Blackrock (32 titles)|
Cork Senior Hurling Championship (currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Evening Echo Cork County Senior Hurling Championship) is an annual competition for hurling clubs organised by the Cork County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association since 1887.
The series of games are played during the summer and autumn months with the county final currently being played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in October. The prize for the winning team is the Seán Óg Murphy Cup. The championship had always been played on a straight knockout basis whereby once a team loses they are eliminated from the series, but in recent years there is a "back door" for teams defeated in the first round.
The Cork County Championship is an integral part of the wider Munster Senior Club Hurling Championship. The winners of the Cork county final join the champions of the other four hurling counties to contest the provincial championship.
Twenty-five clubs, divisions and colleges currently participate in the Cork County Championship. The title has been won at least once by nineteen different clubs. The all-time record-holders are Blackrock National Hurling Club, who have led the roll of honour since the competitions inception and have won a total of 32 titles. The other two members of the so-called 'big three' are Glen Rovers and St Finbarr's who have won 25 titles each.
The Cork Senior Club Hurling Championship is one of the most hotly contested club hurling championships in Ireland. Such is the prestige of the competition that it has often been referred to as 'the little All-Ireland.' The first Cork Hurling Championship took place in 1887 when Tower St. were crowned the first Cork County Champions. There was no championship played in 1905 and 1921. Over the years the county final has attracted followers of the game from all over the country and has produced some legendary hurling battles. In 1977 a record-breaking 34,000 spectators watched St Finbarr's defeat Glen Rovers in the county final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The Cork SHC was at its strongest in the 1970s when a Cork team won the All-Ireland Senior Club Hurling Championship every year of the decade, except for 1971 and 1976. This success at club level paved the way for the Cork senior hurlers to win three All-Ireland hurling titles in-a-row between 1976 and 1978.
Blackrock, Glen Rovers and St Finbarr's are affectionately known as "the Big Three" in Cork club hurling. Together they have won over 80 Cork County titles. Blackrock has always been ahead in the roll of honour from the beginnings of the competition, and other notable distinctions include Glen Rovers' run of winning eight titles in-a-row in the 1930s and 1940s. In recent years the dominance of these three clubs has diminished somewhat as the East Cork clubs have emerged successful. A city club has not won a title since Na Piarsaigh's victory in 2004 with all of the subsequent titles going to East Cork or North Cork clubs.
Each match is played as a single leg. If a match is drawn there is a replay. Drawn replays are now settled with extra time, however, if both sides are still level at the end of extra time a second replay takes place and so on until a winner is found.
Twenty-five teams currently take part in the championship, however, these teams are divided into two sections:
- the club section contains 16 teams
- the divisional and college section contains 9 teams.
In 2015 the following 16 teams will participate in the club section of the championship:
First Round: Sixteen teams contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the eight pairings. The eight winners of these games advance directly to the fourth round, which is effectively the last sixteen of the championship. The eight losing teams advance to the second round where they are provided with another chance to qualify for the knock-out stages.
Second Round: The eight losing first round teams contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the four pairings. The four winners of these games advance directly to the fourth round, the last sixteen of the championship. The four losing teams advance to the third round where they were provided with a final chance to qualify for the knock-out stages.
Third Round: The four losing second round teams contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the two pairings. The two winners of these games advance directly to the fourth round, the last sixteen of the championship. The two losing teams contest the relegation final. The loser of this game is relegated to the Cork Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship.
The following teams participate in the divisional and college section:
First Round: Eight teams contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the three pairings. The four winners of these games advance directly to the second round. The four losing teams are eliminated from the championship.
Second Round: Four teams contest this round. The four winners from the first round contest this round. An open draw is made to determine the two pairings. The two winners of these games advance directly to the last sixteen of the championship proper. The two losing teams are eliminated from the championship.
Fourth Round Sixteen teams contested this round. It comprised the eight first round winners, six teams that came via the 'back door' route and the two teams from the divisional section. The eight first round winning-teams were on one side of the draw and could not meet each other. Eight teams advanced to the quarter-finals while the eight losing teams were eliminated from the championship at this stage.
Quarter-finals Eight teams contested this round. An open draw was made to determine the four pairings. The four winning teams advanced to the semi-finals while the four losing teams are eliminated from the championship at this stage.
Semi-finals Four teams contested this round. An open draw was made to determine the two pairings. The two winning teams advanced to the final while the two losing teams are eliminated from the championship at this stage.
Final The county final was contested by the two semi-final winners.
The winning team is presented with the Seán Óg Murphy Cup. A native of Cork city, Seán Óg Murphy (1897–1956) played hurling for Blackrock and football for Nils. He won three All-Ireland medals with Cork and served as secretary of Cork County Board from 1929 until his death in 1956.
Club championship moments
- Glen Rovers 4-7 : 2-2 Ballincollig (12 October 1941 at the Cork Athletic Grounds)—In a game that set them apart from all other teams, Glen Rovers continued their stranglehold of club hurling in Cork by claiming their eighth championship title in succession. It was a team backboned by some of the greatest hurlers of all-time, including Jack Lynch and Christy Ring. The eight-in-a-row marked a new record, not only in Cork but in the annals of Gaelic games as Limerick's Ahane had previously achieved seven county titles in-a-row.
- Glen Rovers 3-12 : 2-7 St. Finbarr's (11 October 1964 at the Cork Athletic Grounds)—It was the southside against the northside as 'the Glen' and 'the Barr's' contested the championship decider for the first time since 1958. Glen Rovers triumhed by eight points and preserved a unique record. The club had won the county title in ever year ending in a four since 1934. Christy Ring also claimed his thirteenth county championship winners' medal.
- UCC 2-12 : 0-15 Muskerry (22 November 1970 at the Cork Athletic Grounds)—After losing seven finals in the previous thirteen years (including a replay), University College Cork finally triumphed to claim their second championship. It was a team made up of inter-county stars from the traditional hurling counties of Munster and Leinster, while Muskerry, appearing in their first ever final, fielded a team made up of junior and intermediate club players from mid-Cork.
- St Finbarr's 1-17 : 1-5 Glen Rovers (18 September 1977 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh)—A record attendance of 34,151 sees St. Finbarr's enter their second century with a devastating twelve-point defeat of their northside rivals. 'The Barr's' defeated 'the Glen', who were also the reigning All-Ireland club champions, with a younger fresher team.
- Carbery 3-12 : 3-6 Midleton (11 September 1994 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh)—Carbery ended a 61-year wait for their first championship title with a stunning comeback against the former All-Ireland club champions. Trailing by seven points at one stage, the west Cork division came storming back to win by six points at the finish, helped in no small part by the dismissal of Midleton's full-back Mick Boylan. The win was all the more remarkable as Carbery is considered the heartland of Gaelic football in Cork.
- Avondhu 1-12 : 1-12 Imokilly (22 September 1996 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh)—In an historic occasion, the county championship decider is contested by two divisional teams for the first time in history as north Cork battles east Cork. Imokilly look set to claim the title, however, a remarkable comeback by Avondhu saw the north Cork men earn a draw.
- Newtownshandrum 0-14 : 0-11 Erin's Own (8 October 2000 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh)—Four years after graduating from the intermediate grade, the Newtownshandrum club contest their very first county final. It was far from a 'traditional' decider as one-time champions Erin's Own provided the opposition. It was east Cork versus north Cork, however, the club from the tiny parish of eight hundred triumphed, albeit in controversial circumstances as a late Erin's Own goal was disallowed.
- Erin's Own 2-19 : 3-14 Cloyne (22 October 2006 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh)—While Erin's Own claimed their first county title in fourteen year, the story of the game was Cloyne's defeat. In a score-fest of a game that saw a score being recorded almost every 90 seconds, Cloyne looked destined to make it third time lucky and claim their first championship. The team lost their way in the second-half and left the field as defeated finalists for the third time in-a-row.
- Glen Rovers 3-23 : 1-17 Bride Rovers (27 June 2010 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh)—'The Glen's' extra-time second round victory was overshadowed by fighting involving players, substitutes and mentors from both sides in first half stoppage-time. Following an investigation, the Cork county board proposed a fine of €7,500 for both clubs and two-month suspensions for a player on each side. This fine was later reduced to €2,000, however, both sides were expelled from the championship. This caused chaos for the fixtures and, following a re-think, the county board allowed both teams to rejoin the championship.
|1||Blackrock||32||1887, 1889, 1891, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1897, 1898, 1903, 1908, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1920, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1956, 1961, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1999, 2001, 2002|
|2||St.Finbarr's||25||1899, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1926, 1932, 1933, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1955, 1965, 1968, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1988, 1993|
|2||Glen Rovers||25||1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1967, 1969, 1972, 1976, 1989|
|4||Midleton||7||1914, 1916, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991, 2013|
|5||Sarsfields||6||1951, 1957, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014|
|6||Redmonds||5||1892, 1900, 1901, 1915, 1917|
|7||Newtownshandrum||4||2000, 2003, 2005, 2009|
|8||Erin's Own||3||1992, 2006, 2007|
|8||Dungourney||3||1902, 1907, 1909|
|8||Avondhu||3||1952, 1966, 1996|
|8||Na Piarsaigh||3||1990, 1995, 2004|
Roll of honour
- "O'Farrell keeps his cool for Carrig to end 93-year wait". Irish Independent. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Style and steel seal third title in five years for Sars". Irish Examiner. 8 October 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "Lehane steals show as Magpies soar again". Irish Examiner. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- "Sarsfields cruise to Cork senior hurling final win over Glen Rovers and claim 4th title in 7 years". The Score. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2014.