St Kieran’s College aiming for even more All-Ireland glory
Leinster champions St Kieran’s College had to dig deep to qualify for the weekend Masita GAA Niall McInerney Cup final, however, they are given every prospect of claiming further national honours against Presentation Athenry by their pedigree.
Produced by Richie Ruth by Thurles Sarsfields, St Kieran’s were analyzed hard by the Great Counsel if they fulfilled first schools junior A hurling final in Thomastown several weeks of Wexford back.
An upset was in the air on that occasion as the New Ross facet had beaten at St Kieran’s in the league a few weeks earlier and dominated the opening quarter.
The first stages of game turned out to be a shoot-out be between Harry Shine takers and John Redmond from Good Counsel with both gamers enjoying success that was full from the ball position.
But Shine also comes with a sublime strike of the ball and is a talented player – that he struck at 0-12 in that match and will take close observing in this weekend’s closing.
“Harry is a excellent player, we’ve got a couple of lads in underage Kilkenny squads, but our staff is extremely unified,” says manager Ruth.
“we’ve been working hard, the Warriors here locally have expired in the last few months and the lads are in a position to give really very excellent commitment for us.
“it is a way of life as people will understand – the hurleys are an extension of the arm for a number of fellas but I suppose that’s the case in a great deal of schools too.
“Presentation Athenry will inform you it is the exact same – that the lads coming up the positions are so serious about their hurling.”
Besides Shine, Killian Carey and Nick Doheny played critical roles for its Kilkenny guys in the Leinster showpiece.
Padraig Naddy had a big impact – he burst in the showpiece to flame home two aims.
“I think that game will endure to us,” Ruth says.
“But we probably would have liked to have an All-Ireland semi-final to perform with to help keep us ticking over also,” he further added.
“It’s been four months and over since we performed Good Counsel whereas the Athenry lads were outside just two weeks back so that is an edge they’ll have.
“But that is just the way it is and you have to accept that too.”
This will be the last year that the under 16.5 effort is going to have an All-Ireland chain.
This is after recommendations from Player Development Review & the GAA’s Talent Academy.
Ruth could see the rationale but says if the string is resurrected at some stage later on he would be happy.
“It is only a great competition,” he states.
“players get to find out what the top teams from other counties and states do and I would expect that before long it will be revived at federal level.
“It’s a great step on the ladder for lads coming off development squads and outside of academies and you get to see what is happening all over the country.
“I really don’t think the All-Ireland series would take too long to run off .
“This means a lot to those who play inside.
“All week in the school there has been lots of talk of the final and individuals are actually looking forward to it”
Their opponents on Saturday feature two Galway minors, Liam Leen and Gavin Lee, but Ruth states the Galway side are balanced overall.
“They are,” he says,”and they’ve worked hard for this stage also.
“I think it will be a terrific game, there won’t be much in it either way,” he said.