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Four-fold twin threat means everyone will see double

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Thomas Geraghty, Kilcormac/Killoughey, whose twin Peter will also play

Thomas Geraghty, Kilcormac/Killoughey, whose twin Peter will also play

SPORTSFILE

Thomas Geraghty, Kilcormac/Killoughey, whose twin Peter will also play

Tomorrow's Leinster club SHC semi-final in Mullingar, which, remarkably, will feature four sets of twins, has caused plenty of slagging in one Westmeath staff-room recently.

A midlands derby that pits Kilcormac-Killoughey of Offaly against Westmeath champions Raharney didn't need any extra hype, as the latter caused serious tremors in 2010 by knocking out Coolderry and almost going further.

"We lost to Oulart' then by three points in a game that probably shouldn't have gone ahead because of the fog," Raharney secretary Brendan Shaw recalls. "We performed well that day but still felt we could have gone further."

Now they're back and facing the might of the 'Double Ks', a team loaded with Offaly seniors who not only won Leinster two years ago but reached the All-Ireland final.

And they have some direct connections with them that have added spice to the mix. Kilcormac-Killoughey's full-back is Ger Healion, who teaches in St Joseph's Rochfortbridge.

Raharney's Robbie and Gary Greville, Darren Giles, Joey Boyle, Chris Flanagan and Cormac Boyle are among his past pupils.

Brilliant

Killian and Ciaran Doyle, the brilliant teenage twins who scored 1-7 between them in their victory over Carlow's St Mullins, are still among his students and their mum is a fellow teacher.

"My sister Liz also teaches in Rochfortbridge and so does Dan Curram's mother. I think they've played this match a few times already in the staffroom," Shaw quips.

What is particularly unusual is that each team includes two sets of twins, who are all expected to start.

Raharney have the Grevilles and Doyles, while Kilcormac-Killoughey's twin terrors are the Healions (Ger and Peter) and Geraghtys (Peter and Thomas).

The Grevilles (20) and Doyles (17) represent the youth talent that has put Raharney back on top locally after a few years out of the limelight.

This year's county final victory over Castlepollard was their 12th Westmeath title but they hadn't won one since 2010 and lost the 2012 final to arch-rivals Clonkill.

"We were hit very hard by the recession after 2010, lost a handful of key men who had to go abroad for work," Shaw explains.

Full-forward Brian Smyth is still based in London and flies over at weekends for training and games.

Brendan Shaw's brother John, a former Westmeath captain, is still doing the business at corner-forward. Full-back Conor Jordan and centre-back Paul Greville also provide wise heads to their new-look team which now mixes youth and experience.

Irish Independent