Sport in Cork
If you are looking for sporting action, Cork is the only place to be. The wide range of options reflects the enthusiasm of the people of Cork for the sporting life and great outdoors. Activities include walking, cycling, golf, angling, sailing, fishing, kayaking and windsurfing. Alternatively, you might prefer the excitement of a live sporting event such as horseracing at Cork Racecourse in Mallow or Greyhound racing at the Curraheen Greyhound Racecourse.
If you’re travelling the road near Blarney or in virtually any part of West Cork and you come across a group of men on either side of the road, shouting intently over a small ball, fear not, you have just stumbled across road bowling, a very popular sport in parts of Cork. This particular form of bowls (pronounce it bowels in these parts) has been played around here longer than anyone can remember. Bowls is played on the public road usually a secondary road rather than the main road. An iron ball about the size of a cricket ball is used, and this is “lofted” along the road by the contestants. The competitor who covers a set distance (perhaps 1 or 2 km) with the least number of lofts is the winner.
Gaelic Football and Hurling
No trip to Cork is complete without going to a Gaelic Football or Hurling match.
Gaelic Football can best be described as a mixture of rugby and soccer and players can pass the ball which is slightly smaller than a soccer ball by kicking or punching it in the air. Hurling is a game similar to hockey but unlike hockey, players can pick up the ball (known as a sliotar) with their hurleys (sticks) and hit the ball in the air. Players can also run with the sliotar on their hurleys which is not as easy as it seems!
Well known Cork Football and Hurling teams include Nemo Rangers in Football and the Glen in Hurling, home to Christy Ring, widely regarded as the best hurler of all time. If you would like to see a match in Cork check out www.gaacork.ie
Soccer is very popular in Cork and its two most famous footballing sons are Roy Keane and Denis Irwin, both who played with Manchester United and the Irish Soccer Team. In recent years Cork City FC have achieved European and National success. 2004 will be remembered most for the club’s enthralling UEFA Intertoto Cup run, which saw Cork City within a single goal of reaching the semi-final stages.
Rugby is played all over Cork and the Munster rugby team is one of the best supported teams in Europe. In 2006, the team achieved every players and supporters dream and won the European Rugby Cup. The Munster Rugby Team play all their home matches in Cork and in Limerick.
With so much sporting options, sporting enthusiasts are sure to have a ball in Cork.