LIMERICK champions St Kieran’s will play Ballygiblin of Cork in the Munster Junior Club Hurling Final at Mallow on Sunday next, throw-in 1pm (available to stream at munstergaa.ie).
In Limerick, the Saints won only their third county title with a final victory earlier this month over Dromcollogher/Broadford in Newcastle West. It was a championship that comprised of no less than 24 clubs.
They followed this up with a remarkable extra-time win over Banner of Clare at Cusack Park, Ennis. It was a contest in which the evergreen Donie Nolan, who has come back time and time again from serious injury, knocked over a brilliant winning point at the death.
St. Kieran’s have some injury concerns ahead of the showpiece but will have towering Darragh Treacy available after he was unavoidably absent for the semi-final.
“He’s a massive player for us,” commented Saints coach John Fitzgerald, who added that Treacy will, however, along with the rest of the squad have to earn their starting place at training in Ardagh this week.
As defending kingpins, Ballygiblin have been rightly installed as firm favourites, but Fitzgerald, in only his first season at the helm, is bullish about his sides chances of causing an upset.
“Yes it’s bonus territory but we’re greedy, we want to win this Munster Final,” he said in the wake of their semi-final win.
Ian Mackessy will captain history-seeking St. Kieran’s.
In 2012, St. Kieran’s were narrowly beaten by Kildorrery of Cork in the final. Around a dozen of that Saints squad from a decade ago remain. Three years earlier, Blackrock emerged winners of the championship, the only Limerick team to have won in the 20-year history of the competition.
This weekend’s final will be refereed by Conor Doyle, Tipperary.
St. Kieran’s GAA was formed in 1972 through the unification of Ardagh, Carrigkerry, Coolcappagh and Kilcolman.