With Longford winning the Lory Meagher Cup and Wolfe Tones contesting a Leinster Club final for the very first time, it has been a wonderful year for hurling in the county and it could get even better.
After scoring emphatic wins over St. Patrick’s, Tullow (Carlow) and St. Patrick’s, Stamullen (Meath) on their path to the provincial decider, the Mostrim hurlers now confront Offaly opponents Clara in the battle for the title.
The Leinster Special Junior Club Hurling Championship Final is scheduled for the Tubber grounds (situated about 3 miles from Clara) on Sunday next (2pm) and leading the Wolfe Tones charge for glory will be county hurlers Martin Coyle, Paddy Cullen and Benny Stakem.
While Clara is a football stronghold, the north Offaly club did win the Intermediate hurling championship title back in 2003 and will surely prove difficult to beat. Two of the key figures on their team are ex-county footballers Thomas Deehan and Ross Brady (son of former Fr. Manning Gaels player Noel Brady)
Deehan and Brady will line-out at full-forward and centre-half-back respectively for the Clara hurlers who overcame the challenge of Ros Glas (Kildare) 1-9 to 0-2 and Kyle (Laois) 1-13 to 1-7 to reach the Leinster final.
The County Under 21 ‘A’ Football Championship Final is down for decision at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday next (3pm) when Killoe take on Colmcille. The general opinion is that Emmet Og are the firm favourites to emerge victorious in a bid to make amends for the defeat by Fr. Manning Gaels in last year’s title decider.
Then on Saturday night the 2014 Team of the Championship will be announced along with the various player of the year awards - Senior, Intermediate, Junior, Ladies and Hurling.
Wolfe Tones men Paddy Cullen and Martin Coyle are nominated for the hurling honour, along with Joe O’Brien (Clonguish), while the members of the Longford hurling squad will receive their Lory Meagher Cup medals at the Gala Awards Night in the Rustic Inn, Abbeyshrule with the big event starting at 8.30pm.
The special guests attending are Lester Ryan, the captain of the Kilkenny hurlers who won the All-Ireland senior title this year, and John Horan (Dublin), the Chairman of the Leinster GAA Council. Music on the night will be performed by the White Ice band and tickets, priced at 40 euro, are available from Michael Carrigy, 087-2915072.
See page 93 for full details of the 2014 Longford All Stars nominations.