Pat Ryan takes a look at the background and heritage of Ballygiblin’s rivals Fullen Gaels
Ballygiblin’s Junior A hurlers play their 11th championship game of the season this Sunday in Portlaoise when they face Fullen Gaels (Manchester).
It is an unknown venture for Ballygiblin who are now playing in their lst All Ireland series game. Fullen Gaels have won the British Championship on a number of titles and are seeking their first All Ireland success.
They lost out to Meelin 2010 and Charleville 2011 and reached two All Ireland finals. In 2013 they were beaten by Thomastown in the final by 2-17 to 2-14.
Two years later they were back in another All Ireland final when Bennetsbridge came out on top 3-19 to 1- 8.
They were formed in 2005, the clubs name being derived from Fr Emmet Fullen of Derry who was a founding member of St Laurance's GFC previous Lancashire Board Chairman and Lancashire player.
The club crest represents symbols of Manchester GAA as well as representing Fr Fullen. The top left hand is the Fullen family crest, while the top right is the shamrock representing the Irish Heritage of the club.
These are on amber and black backgrounds. The club colour at the bottom of the crest the bee represents the working bee of Manchester.
A symbol of Manchester from the industrial revolution when Manchester was known as the hive of activity with hard working citizens The ship is an iconic symbol of Manchester representing the Manchester Ship Canal.
Two weeks ago they were involved a tough All Ireland quarter final with Camloch (Armagh) in Birmingham.
The game finished level 2-10 each and went to extra time. They were again deadlocked in extra time 2-17 each. Fullen Gaels came out on top on penalties.
Ballygiblin have a full bill of health facing into this semi-final. Mark Keane did not return to Australia and his presence along with the injured Darragh Flynn who did not start the Munster final will be an added boost to the Mitchelstown side.
Ballygiblin have finished well in nearly all their championship games this season. They drew with Fermoy and drew with Kilshannig in the quarter final before coming out on top in extra time. Their toughest game was in the Co final against Dromtarriffe.
They had the luck as well throughout the season. In the Avondhu championship they avoided three key clubs Ballyhooly, Harbour Rovers and Dromina.
They had a bye in the county quarter-final and also a bye in the Munster quarter final. Sunday's game is listed for 12.30pm in Portlaoise.
Due to lack of capacity the game was moved from its original fixture in Abbotstown.