The three Kilkenny City GAA clubs have exerted almost total dominance over the under-age hurling scene this year, writes Nickey Brennan.
The three clubs, James Stephens, Dicksboro and O’Loughlin Gaels were well ahead of all opponents at under-14 level, with Dicksboro eventually winning the championship and league. James Stephens had earlier won the Féile-na-nGael competition.
James Stephens were comfortable winners of the under-16 championship, but succumbed to great rivals Dicksboro in the league final on Saturday. This was a terrific game in which the standard of hurling lit up a chilly Saturday morning in Jenkinstown.
One week earlier Dicksboro had to show the same composure to defeat O’Loughlin Gales in the league semi-final.
James Stephens and Dicksboro also contested the minor final with The Village boys deservedly edging a game that never reached the heights of some of the other under-age contests between the sides this year.
The three city clubs deserve huge credit for their attention to under-age coaching.
Yes there is plenty of rivalry among those clubs, but Kilkenny hurling in the coming years will be the real winner as a result of their great work.