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Crokes roll out red carpet for hurling festival

Kilmacud Crokes resumed their annual October Festival of Hurling in fine fashion as clubs from nine counties participated in their Under-11 blitz held in Páirc de Búrca last Sunday afternoon.

The initiative will last for the coming three weeks with blitzes organised for the Under-8 to Under-11 age groups and Sunday's renewal has reinforced the festival as a staple diet of Kilmacud's already hectic and rewarding hurling calendar.

As well as introducing players to opponents from all four corners of the country, it is hopeful that friendships can be forged on and off the playing fields, according to Kilmacud Crokes' hurling chairman, Peter Walsh.

"One of our core aims is to give our younger players the maximum opportunity to enjoy the hurling experience and develop a love of hurling and its culture.

"Tournaments like today's form part of a bigger picture. They also allow us repay, in a small way, the hospitality and generosity we have experienced since we began our travels around the country in earnest.


"This has been an exciting and rewarding journey, one that has included participation in tournaments and blitzes all over Ireland," added Walsh.

In total, 16 clubs contributed in four groups of four with the teams divided as follows:

Group A: Whitehall Colmcille, St Martin's, St Mary's, Kilmacud Crokes (1).

Group B: Maynooth, James Stephens (2), Kilmacud Crokes (2), Ballinasloe.

Group C: Lucan Sarsfields, Drom and Inch, Dungarvan, Sarsfields (Cork).

Group D: James Stephens (1), O'Donovan Rossa, Ballyboden St Enda's, Kilmacud Crokes (3).

Given the quality on offer, it was of little surprise that the skill levels on show were of an extremely high nature as Drom and Inch, James Stephens, Kilmacud Crokes and Sarsfields all advanced to the semi-finals of the Cup competition.

It was Drom and Inch that eventually prevailed by two points in a humdinger of a final against the host club, a match that highlighted the top class standard that was prevalent throughout the day.

The Shield Final was equally compelling with Maynooth getting the upper hand on Ballinasloe and local senior hurlers Seán McGrath and Cian Mac Gabhann were on hand to make the presentations at the end of a memorable day's hurling for all involved.