Kilkenny star and former hurler of the year, Michael Fennelly experienced the best and worst of times in sport with a short few weeks.
Shortly after scoring 2-3 to star in Kilkenny’s National Hurling League final victory over Tipperary his season began to fall apart when he picked up a bad ankle injury in a senior league match against Clara in Thomastown. He struggled throughout the rest of the season and missed the championship with his club. Within 24 hours, Michael Rice tore a hamstring in another senior league tie. His inter-county season stuttered after that.
The National League win was Kilkenny’s 16th. It was the first league final staged in Nowlan Park in 47 years, the previous one being in 1966 between Kilkenny and New York in the second leg of that decider.
In the local senior club league, Clara, the reigning All-Ireland intermediate champions, ran up their 16th successive win when beating O’Loughlin Gaels by 0-18 to 0-17. The winning point was scored by Keith Hogan in the 63rd minute.
Newpark A made up for the disappointment of 2012 when they won the McCalmont Cup final. Shane O’Neill scored the only goal in the 25th minute.
Gary Walsh, fresh out of qualifying school, earned his card and took to the PGA Euro pro golf tour. It was adventure time for the young Kilkenny City man.
The South East Field Archery championships (SEFAC) were hosted by the Warbon Ireland club in Kilmanagh/Ballycallan. The Kilkenny winners included Gavyn Blanchfield, Coote’s Lane, who subsequently won honours at the European championships.
There was a rare treat for stars of the past when the Kilkenny All-Ireland winning squad of 1973 was invited to a pitch opening in Limerick when the current squad played the Shannonsiders. The treat? All were kitted out in suits, shirts, ties and shoes by match sponsor J.P. McManus and were wined and dined after the match.
“Christmas came early for us,” one of the heroes of 1973 joked.
Ballyhale Shamrocks star, T.J. Reid, who had been sidelined for over eight months with an horrific knee injured suffered in the All-Ireland semi-final the previous season, sampled his first piece of competitive action.
Henry Shefflin, who was trying to shake off an ankle injury, suffered a setback and postponed his comeback.