The Young Irelands Under-13 Hurlers will attempt to complete the League/Championship Double along with consecutive County Championship successes early on Sunday afternoon, as they play Graigue-Ballycallan in the A1 County Final in the MW Hire Centre in Dunmore on Sunday Morning at 11am.
The Gowran boys lost their first game in the League at home to Danesfort back in June, but they have gone on a winning streak since & victory next Sunday would be 10 wins on the trot.
It will be a tough task against an ever improving Graigue-Ballycallan outfit who came through an amazing Semi-Final contest against Dunnamaggin after a penalty shoot-out.
The Graigue-Ballycallan boys actually trailed 2-4 to 0-0 after just 10 minutes, before recovering the deficit to trail 2-7 to 1-3 at half-time.
With the wind behind them for the third quarter, Graigue-Ballycallan turned it around quickly & they led 3-7 to 2-8, with goals from top scorer Cormac Neary – 4-7 in the Semi-Final – & Ben McEvoy – Son of Former Kilkenny senior camogie All-Ireland winner Tracy Millea & former Kilkenny Senior Hurling All-Ireland Winner Brian McEvoy – appeared to have put them in control.
However, in a dramatic contest that had plenty of twists & turns, Dunnamaggin turned it around to lead 3-10 to 3-7 coming towards the closing 5 minutes, before Graigue-Ballycallan fought back to snatch a late levelling goal to force extra-time.
The Dunnamaggin Boys built up a 4 point lead during the first period of extra-time with four Unanswered Points to lead 3-15 to 4-8, but Graigue-Ballycallan’s fighting determination was most admirable, & Cormac Neary struck a brilliant goal from a free, before their outstanding centre-back Michael Tynan struck over the last gasp levelling point that brought about the penalty shoot-out.
Young Irelands & Graigue-Ballycallan played out a superb contest at the end of July with the Gowran boys winning 5-12 to 3-7 in a game of very high quality where the striking, skill levels & scoring from both teams was first class.
It was a memorable night in particular for Full-forward Josef Walsh who scored 4-0, & along with centre-forward Aidan Keating they will be central to Young Irelands hopes of retaining the county title on Sunday.
Aidan is a very special talent & has been in red hot form right throughout the season.
Nephew of the team manager Gary Farrell, he accounted for 4-10 in their 6-15 to 6-13 win away to Piltown, while he has also come up with important scores in both the League & Championship, none more so than in the semi-final win against Rower-Inistioge.
Trailing by three points with five minutes to go, Aidan conjured up a moment of magic to strike home a superb goal as they went onto emerge victorious.
Overall, it’s a very strong, solid & well rounded Young Irelands outfit.
Goalkeeper Dylan Brennan is a younger brother of Intermediate goalkeeper & U-13 selector Jason Brennan & has improved throughout the season.
The team is captained by Keelan Barcoe who gave an exceptional display in the League Final win against Clara, while behind him Conor Brennan at full-back has been rock solid & consistent, while Fintan Byrne, Darragh Roche Corcoran, Jonathan Dunne & Charlie Ryan complete a solid defensive outfit.
Joseph Langton & Kieran Carter are a tireless hard-working duo in midfield, while in attack, Harry Byrne & Conor Carroll are very capable hurlers who have the ability to be match winners, with Tomas Carroll & David Brennan a constant threat in an attacking division with plenty of natural ability.
It promises to be a thrilling contest on Sunday morning with plenty of talent on both sides.
It’s a busy Sunday for Young Irelands with the U-12 camogie girls in League Final action against Carrickshock, while the seniors travel to Jenkinstown on Sunday morning to play Conahy.
The U-12 League Final is on Sunday afternoon at 3pm on The Kells Road, & it has been a busy week for the Gowran girls having won 3-5 to 1-1 away against Thomastown on Tuesday evening, while the Seniors will be more than hopeful of going to Jenkinstown having just lost out narrowly to St. Brigids in Kilmanagh last Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, the following weekend, Young Irelands U-14 Camogie county final against Tullogher has been confirmed for Saturday Week 9th October at 4.30pm, while the following day Sunday 10th October at 4pm, Young Irelands Intermediate Hurlers play O’Loughlin Gaels.
Venues for both games still to be confirmed.