Twenty-eight years after his senior debut, Cork hurling legend Neil Ronan put in a man of the match performance for his club in the Cork Junior B Hurling Final.
The 43-year-old scored 2-8, with 1-2 from play for Ballyhea's reserves against St Finbarr's. His club would go on to win 5-10 to 4-08.
Neil lined out at full forward for the final and quickly scored a goal. His second goal came with 13 minutes remaining, converting a penalty. His two goals were instrumental in his club's success and help avenge their past two final losses in 2020 and 2019.
Still contributing !!Neil Ronan at 43 and 28 years after his adult debut, landed 2-08 for @BallyheaGAA in their 5-10 to 4-08 victory over @the_Barrs in the @OfficialCorkGAA @CoOpSuperstores JBHC Final. Some buachaill !! pic.twitter.com/kkfA430lQ2
— Paudie Palmer (@PaudieP) November 19, 2022
This isn't the first time Neil has delivered for his club. In 2020, in the North Cork Junior B Semi final, the former Cork hurler scored an incredible point in injury time to win the game.
Neil Ronan’s Point in injury time to win the North Cork Junior B hurling semi final this evening . pic.twitter.com/qwBCAECn9G
— Ballyhea GAA (@BallyheaGAA) September 5, 2020
In 2014, Neil was instrumental in returning his club to the Cork Senior Hurling Championship. In the intermediate semifinal, Ballyhea were down by 4 in the opening ten minutes. Despite the alarming deficit, the then 35-year-old brought his club back in the game, scoring 12 points from then on. His tally helped them win by 0-18 to 2-10.
He also contributed in the final scoring 3 points as Ballyhea returned to senior level for the first time in 11 years.
Ronan is a Cork hurling legend winning two All Ireland medals with the Rebel county. He made his intercounty debut in 1999. Later on that year he would earn his first All Ireland medal as Cork beat Kilkenny in the final, with Ronan started at left wing forward.
In 2002, he made the decision to emigrate to Australia for work. However, he returned back to Ireland and the Cork senior panel in 2005. Ronan became an impact sub upon his return and came on in Cork's Munster final and All Ireland final wins that year.
He retired from the intercounty scene in 2009 but as we can see, he is still going strong for his club.