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Jude's savouring their first decider

IT was the perfect day ... from the moment Jesse Kennedy pulled back the curtains.

St Jude's were playing O'Toole's in the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship semi-final in Parnell Park.

"When I woke up, I saw that the weather was lovely. It was roasting," recalls Jesse.

"It had been raining for a few days before that, so the gods must have known it was county hurling semi-final day!"

The entire Templeogue community now know that St Jude's will be appearing in their first Dublin senior hurling championship final when they run out against Kilmacud Crokes on Friday night.

"It's just amazing. It's hard to put into words what it means to us. This year was our first semi-final and then to qualify for the final itself was just unbelievable."

But it won't be a case of being content just to march behind the band. Far from it.

"The main thing is to play the game and not the occasion. We'll be going out with the attitude that we carry into every game.

"It was our first semi-final, but we did not look on that as a hindrance in any way. And it will be the same now for the final."


Getting over O'Toole's in that semi-final was solid preparation.

"Fair play to O'Toole's. They have been in so many semi-finals and finals over the last few years.

"From our point, it was great to get a win over such an experienced team.

"The crowd was electric. O'Toole's nearly got level near the end, but thankfully it was us that came out on the right side."

Reaching the blue carpet is a reward for honest toil.

"We have been working hard since February. And we kept things going through the summer with intense training games to keep us in tune.

"The mentors set out a platform at the start of the season, and we went from there.

"The management have given us everything that we have asked for. It's a remarkable achievement, and fair play to everybody involved."

Jesse predicts some high calibre hurling on the big night. "Dublin hurling has improved so much. There will be plenty there for Ger Cunningham to look at."