The 121st Kilkenny senior football championship final will be played on Sunday in Freshford. In opposition will be defending champions, Muckalee and James Stephens.
The first county football final was played in the Freshford Road pitch on May 8,1887 between Kilmacow and Kilkenny City and that ended in a draw.
The replay, which was played the following Sunday, produced a 1-3 to no score win for Kilmacow. There were no championships played in 1891, 1892, 1912, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1927.
Having won the last three finals, Muckalee will be hoping to make it four in-a-row and join Lamogue (1902, ’03, 04 and 05) and Railyard (1958, ’59, ’60 and ’61) who share the four in-a-row record.
James Stephens, with eight titles to their credit, the last one won in 2008, will start as outsiders but following their impressive victories over Dicksboro (after a replay), Clara and Kilmoganny they will not be beaten too easily.
They will have five members of the team that won the championship in 2008 aboard, including county star Jackie Tyrrell, who is one of the finest footballers around.
Muckalee received a bye into the quarter finals. They were impressive in their two games, scoring a 0-12 to 0-6 win over Mullinavat and a 3-6 to 0-6 win over Glenmore. They will start as hot favourites.
When the clubs met in the senior hurling league last weekend, with most of the same players involved, Muckalee, or St Martin’s, carried the day.
Twenty members of the Muckalee panel that won the championship and the league last season are available again this year.
Muckalee panel - John Coonan, James Maher, Ollie Walsh, Aidan Murphy, Paddy Nolan, Michael Morrissey, Martin Dowling, Brian Byrne, Paul Maher, John Mulhall, Robert Shore, Shane Coogan, Tom Morrissey, Colin McGrath, John Maher, Stephen Murphy, Noel Darcy, Joe Maher, Fionn Lawlor, Eoin McGrath, Luke Maher, Canice Maher, Damien Tynan, Eugene Maher, Shane Egan.
James Stephens - Davy Cummins, Richie Manogue, John Comerford, Cormac Behan, Luke Hickey, Niall Tyrrell, Mark Hoban, Conor McQuillan, Eoin Larkin, Maurice Harkin, Jackie Tyrrell, Benny O’ Brien, Anthony Lawlor, Richard Hayes, Eoin McCormack, David McCormack, Ben Hickey, Ray O’Keeffe, Niall McQuillan, Jack Cotter, Robert Corcoran, Diarmuid Berry, Alan Tyrrell, Eoin Holohan, Darren Leahy, Martin Grace, Cormac Connolly.
All the results, first round - Conahy Shamrocks 5-9, Thomastown 5-8; Mullinavat 4-6, O’Loughlin Gaels 0-9; Glenmore 1-7, Mooncoin 0-9; James Stephens 1-9, Dicksboro 0-12; James Stephens 2-12, Dicksboro 0-5.
Quarter-finals - Muckalee 0-12, Mullinavat 0-6; James Stephens 3-8, Clara 3-7; Kilmoganny 3-12, Conahy Shamrocks 1-9; Glenmore 0-13, Railyard 0-10.
Semi-finals - James Stephens 0-9, Kilmaganny 0-6; Muckalee 3-6, Glenmore 0-6.