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Sarsfields have right blend to 'bury foes

BY 'Sash' standards it must seem like an eternity: it's 2005 since the Dermot Bourke Cup last took up residence in the Sarsfields clubhouse. How Carbury would settle for a mere seven-year itch ... they haven't been county champions since 1985.

So tomorrow's final will constitute a breakthrough, however small or significant, for the winners.

Carbury have been getting closer: they were beaten finalists last year and duly avenged that defeat in their semi-final two weeks ago, toppling Athy by three points, having led by nine at one stage of the second half.

Eoghan O'Flaherty was the Carbury hero, scoring ten of their 15 points that day. It was the second time in this campaign that the Kildare sharpshooter has returned a double-digit tally for his club.

For all O'Flaherty's recent red-hot form, coupled with the influence of his older brother Morgan, Sarsfields are the bookies' choice and you can see why.


Now managed by former Kildare boss John Crofton, they have enjoyed an incredible season to date, winning the Aldridge Cup and Leinster Leader Cup while qualifying for the blue riband decider.

They possess a mix of wily experience (epitomised by team captain Pádraig Brennan) and youthful exuberance (Ray Cahill being a case in point).

The high-profile likes of Alan Smith and Gary White will doubtless have key roles to play if they are to scratch their seven-year itch; Smith is coming in on the back of arguably his best inter-county summer while White was man of the match in their nail-biting two-point win over St Laurence's at the penultimate stage.

This has the potential to go either way, and Sarsfields' recent county final experience (losing three in four years from 2007 to '10) could well be an ominous augury. Still, they are favourites for a reason ...

ODDS: Sarsfields 8/15, Draw 7/1, Carbury 2/1 VERDICT: Sarsfields