'A win would be massive for Carlow'
After coming out on the wrong side of a Division 2A NHL final and a Fitzgibbon Cup decider with IT Carlow already this year, Marty Kavanagh is hoping for a change of luck when Carlow make a rare venture to Croke Park for today's Christy Ring Cup final against Antrim.
The Saffrons have had their number with a draw, a three-point Division 2A NHL final win and a one-point round-robin victory after an extra-time thriller, so Kavanagh knows what to expect at GAA HQ.
"There's been nothing in it the three days. It didn't happen for us on any of the days but in fairness, Antrim are a serious team. We know what we're going to get Saturday and it'll be close again. We're just hoping to get a bit of luck or a bounce of a ball on the day," said Carlow's captain.
"What we have at the minute is a young group, we're after getting to five of the last six Leinster U-21 semi-finals, that's a big thing in Carlow. It's a good group and the 21s are coming to the fore now and backboning the team. It'd be a massive thing if we could win."
It'll be a family affair as the 22-year-old St Mullin's attacker makes his Croke Park debut alongside older brother Jack, and his four first cousins from Mount Leinster Rangers (Richard and Paul Coady, Jack and Denis Murphy) and all have been helped ensure progress under Colm Bonnar.
Should they win, they will earn the added incentive of a shot at Laois in the SHC Qualifiers whereas the losers face more time in the hurling wilderness. "Whoever comes out of it will fancy taking on Laois," he reasoned.
"It's great that it's not over after Saturday if you win, you can keep going on and whoever comes out Saturday you'd fancy could go on for another couple of weeks.
"Otherwise you're sitting at home in July and August in the finest of weather, back playing club and inter-county is over. We were in the round-robin last year and got relegated so we were finished at the end of April, sitting at home for the whole summer. You want to be playing county in the summer."
While much of today's talk in the hurling world will be focussed around events in Wexford Park, they're "used to that at this stage" and will hope to create their own fireworks in the capital.