Will it be Clara’s day or can Carrickshock take the title? That’s the big question being asked ahead of this Sunday’s county senior hurling championship final.
Carrickshock, with county stars Michael Rice, Richie Power, John Tennyson and John Dalton, will be attempting to make the breakthrough that has eluded them over recent years. They had a good win over Ballyhale Shamrocks in the semi-final with Rice, who returned from injury for the game, playing an influential role on proceedings. Retired county star John Tennyson, who had dislocated his shoulder two weeks earlier in the quarter-final, also had a starring role in their 4-14 to 2-14 win over the 2012 county champions. On the back of this victory they are likely to be favourites going into Sunday’s final.
Standing in their way, however, is a Clara side who won the All-Ireland club intermediate championship earlier this year. They were convincing winners against St Gabriel’s in the final at Croke Park in February, grabbing a win which they used as a platform for the county senior hurling league win over James Stephens. They continued that form into the championship, earning their place in the final with a 1-17 to 1-14 win over St Martin’s, a result sparked by the scoring form of Keith Hogan (0-7) and James Nolan (1-2).
The game throws in at Nowlan Park at 3pm and is preceded by the minor final (1pm) between The Rower-Inistioge, who won the Kilkenny Intermediate title last weekend, and city side O’Loughlin Gaels.
At half-time in the senior game the 1963 Kilkenny All-Ireland winning side will be introduced to the crowd. They beat Waterford in that decider.
The newly-crowned senior champions won’t have long to rest on their laurels - seven days later they’ll take on Wexford champions Oulart The Ballagh in the AIB Leinster club senior hurling championship.
The Leinster championship fixture between Oulart the Ballagh and the Kilkenny champions will be held in Nowlan Park on Sunday, November 3.