Thursday 14 December 2017

'Palatine five' celebrate 18 years of dedicated service

Laois manager Mick Lillis
Laois manager Mick Lillis
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

County final season always yields a bountiful harvest of local heroics, a perfect example being 39-year-old Niall Gilligan scoring 0-13 in Sixmilebridge's win over Clonlara in the Clare hurling showpiece last Sunday.

There was an ever wider display of longevity in Carlow football where no fewer than five of the Palatine panel that beat Old Leighlin enjoyed success 18 years after playing together in a senior final.

Aged between 34 and 38 years, Brian Farrell, John Reid, Brian Kelly, Paul Reid and Joe Byrne are still going strong after spanning almost two decades of service. It's some achievement for so many players to backbone their club for so long.

Palatine seniors, whose previous county title success came in 2006, are managed by Mick Lillis, the recently appointed Laois manager.

The club's minors, managed by former Kildare stalwart Peter McConnon, drew with éire óg in the county final last Sunday. McConnon was senior manager back in the 1997, when the aforementioned quintet played in the senior county final.

It appears endurance and loyalty are thriving qualities down Palatine way.

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