Sunday 30 April 2017

Village versus city as Ballyea bid for hurling glory against Cuala

Katelyn Hynes (7), from Blackrock, and Lauren Ross (7), from Monkstown, at the Cuala céilí in Dalkey Picture: Arthur Carron
Katelyn Hynes (7), from Blackrock, and Lauren Ross (7), from Monkstown, at the Cuala céilí in Dalkey Picture: Arthur Carron

Chai Brady

IT will be city versus village today as Dublin club Cuala battle the Banner County's Ballyea in the All-Ireland hurling club final.

Thousands of fans will descend on Croke Park as the Clare club will face off against Dalkey's finest in the St Patrick's Day GAA extravaganza.

After the destination of the hurling title has been decided, Kerry's Dr Crokes will battle it out with Slaughtneil from Derry in the football showpiece.

Cuala has booked out two Dart trains to transport 2,500 fans across the city to enjoy the club's first All-Ireland hurling final.

Club officials say they are "quietly confident" their band of brothers can pull it off.

The club has six brothers from three families on the team, but they say their newfound success is down to hard work and training.

Ballyea's public relations officer Kieran Shannon says the whole of Clare is behind the small club from outside Ennis in their All-Ireland bid. "The whole county has embraced it, if you go into Ennis you'll see a lot of shops decked out in Ballyea colours," he said.

Brother will face brother as Aonghus Keane from Ballyea will face Cuala player Niall Keane, who formerly played for Ballyea.

Meanwhile, in the Kingdom Dr Crokes club secretary Paul Downey says "spirits are high" as the Kerry team travelled to Dublin last night ahead of the big game.

"They [the team] have worked really hard all through the last couple of months for this game. We're looking forward to the occasion now," he said.

Mr Downey added they respect their Derry opponents Slaughtneil. The hurling will throw-in at 3pm, with the football beginning at 5pm.

Irish Independent

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