Mixed emotions for Woodlock
TIPPERARY hurler James Woodlock is in a good position to argue that bad things happen in threes, WRITES Donnchadh Boyle.
In the space of around six weeks last year, he was part of the Tipp side that lost the All-Ireland final, captained Drom and Inch to a third defeat in a county final in five years and smashed his right leg in the dying embers of the same game.
Ten months on and he still hasn't returned to action, though he did make two weeks of training with the inter-county squad in the run-in to Sunday's All-Ireland final.
The horror of his injury has been well documented. The Kilkenny-based Garda broke his right leg in four places after an accidental collision with inter-county team-mate Padraic Maher.
He still has a bar in his leg and two pins in his ankle to support the shattered bone and he agreed that, on a personal level, Sunday's victory was bittersweet.
"I'm absolutely delighted with the victory on Sunday. Wind back the clock 12 months and I was playing yesterday. But that's just the way it goes. Sport is tough, and I just got a tough break, missing out on (playing in) the All-Ireland final. But it's still great to be a part of it. I'll be a happy man going back to work," he said.
Woodlock (pictured) hopes to be fit for the county final on the last Sunday in October, if his club make it that far, while next season he'll have to try to oust the outstanding Brendan Maher from midfield.
"I'm just hoping he'll go back to wing-back now next year," he laughed. "Revert back there, and I'll be a happy man. But no, Lar Corbett is in line for Hurler of the Year, and Brendan Maher Young Hurler of the Year.
"Look across our panel. I'd say 24 is the average age. Hopefully this team will be around for a while."