Lake men hold upper hand on the Premier
Big ball...small ball
The wounds were still fresh from Westmeath's 31-point annihilation at the hands of All-Ireland SFC champions Dublin when the news no GAA folk in the county wanted to hear filtered through on Monday morning, with the hurlers facing the daunting trip to Liam MacCarthy Cup holders Tipperary.
A sideline joust between the two Michael Ryans will take place but while the Premier Ryan (pictured) is overwhelming favourite to lead his side to victory, history favours the Lake men. Their most recent competitive meetings yielded seven-point wins for Westmeath in Mullingar ('83 and '85) when Tipp were going through a 'famine' period which finally ended with Munster success in '87.
An astonishing career spanning seven decades
Many would deem themselves very lucky to remain healthy and hungry enough to play Championship for ten years, but a hurling career spanning seven decades is surely impossible?
Not for Eamon Murray. That's just one of the remarkable list of achievements which Wicklow native Murray, their most decorated hurler, has after a lifetime devoted to the small ball.
For a man who started out with a bush root, an old tennis ball and a dream of being the best hurler he could be, Eamon's adventure from Kilmacoo to London and back to the Garden county, starring in 13 All-Ireland finals, is a tale for the generations.
It is chronicled in My journey through life - the definitive story of Eamon Murray, a must-read for all GAA lovers available to buy online at www.bridgestreetbooks.ie