Aughrim hoping to stay on the rails in Leinster
Railyard (Kilkenny) v Aughrim Freshford 3pm Sunday
AUGHRIM make their first foray into Leinster club competition on Sunday afternoon next when they travel to Freshford to take on the Kilkenny champions, Railyard, in the Intermediate football championship.
When the words football and Kilkenny appear in the same sentence, normally not too much attention would be paid as the big ball game has struggled to keep pace for many years now in the county where Liam McCarthy rests for the next 12 months.
Railyard however are a strong proud club who themselves thwarted "a drive for five" when they defeated Muckalee in the football final, which was, incidentally, played on the first Saturday in July.
They won a low scoring final by 1-5 to 1-4. This was their 20th time to lift the cup and puts them at the top of the list along with Glenmore so Aughrim know they will get nothing easy as they are a club used to winning football matches.
They are, by all accounts, a big physical team with team captain, Caleb Roche, one of five Roches on the team, and top scoring forward, Sean Brennan too, will need watching as he was the man whose 1-1 decided the county final.
Railyard have been competing in the football leagues in Carlow for the past few seasons so they will have been getting football at a higher standard than what may have been available to them in Kilkenny and this may stand to them too.
Aughrim will see this as a great opportunity to start a run in Leinster and if they can secure a win Sunday their prize is a visit from Eadestown from Kildare in the next round.
Eugene O'Brien won't be looking beyond Sunday and will have his troops ready after cutting the celebrations short to prepare for this one.
Ballymanus gave Aughrim a stern test in the final and if they have everybody available Sunday they should win as the monkey is off their back now that they have won that elusive title.
Players like Robert Lambert, Stephen Mann, Paddy Phelan and Derek Kavanagh might find the game a lot more suitable to their skills in a competition like this and a good run is certainly not beyond Aughrim and, as Eire Og showed us all in 2011, anything is possible.
Anybody who can lend their support should get down to Freshford on Sunday and hopefully see Aughrim win their first game in provincial action.