Harty odds against Moran
IT HAS been one of the great sagas in the long and distinguished history of the Dr Harty Cup.
And Ard Scoil Ris coach and currently exiled Limerick hurler Niall Moran has admitted that the enthralling finale between his side and Thurles CBS has provided a welcome distraction from what has been a disastrous start to the year for hurling in the Treaty County.
Having made it to their first final of Munster's most prestigious colleges hurling competition at the end of last month, Ard Scoil will play their third this afternoon when they take to the pitch in Nenagh for the second replay of the showpiece (2.30 throw-in).
Against all odds, the Limerick side have taken defending champions Thurles CBS to the brink and Moran knows that it is a huge boost for his county.
"It's just been superb, given what's going on in Limerick hurling at the moment," said Moran, who coaches the team alongside Derek Larkin, Liam Cronin, Natal O'Grady, Jimmy Browne. "A lot of our players have developed a huge amount from this experience."
The odds are once again stacked against them today, with star CBS forward Aidan McCormack returning from suspension and Ard Scoil Ris minus captain Cathal McInerney following a ban imposed after of an off-the-ball incident last week. But Moran still retains hope.
"Cathal is an inspirational leader and a sensational hurler and it was totally out of character for him," he said. "I'm sure Thurles will look at the reintroduction of McCormack as an extra option.
"But all we've ever done is play the hand we're dealt and we'll just be planning for ourselves. Sometimes in sport people don't get what they really deserve, but hopefully this time they will."