Limerick junior hurling champions St Kierans play Tipperary’s Kilsheelan-Kilcash in the Munster club championship this Saturday.
THEY have played in the Munster club championship previously, but on Saturday St Kierans make their hurling debut in the province.
Uniquely, it won’t be the Tipperary champions that they face in Feenagh at 2.00.
Kilsheellan-Kilcash are only at the semi-final stage of the Tipperary championship.
However as all others remaining in the Tipp JAHC are ‘second teams’, Kilsheelan-Kilcash were nominated to represent them in Munster.
The small, football dominated south-Tipp club, sprung to hurling prominence in recent years and this year club-man Bill Maher captained Tipperary’s All-Ireland minor winning side.
Newly crowned Limerick junior hurling champions St Kierans have played in the provincial senior football championship back in the 1980’s and ‘90’s but without silverware or a final appearance.
For Saturday, their hurlers have had just the perfect preparation time with two weeks since their county final win over Monagea.
While the experience will be new for the club, there is plenty experience throughout their team.
Johnny McCarthy has hurling experience with UCD at the highest level, while his football pedigree needs no introduction.
Others like captain Paudie McCarthy and Timmy Carroll also have inter-county experience.
Indeed Carroll picked up an injury in the county final and would be a loss from the half forward line in terms of balling winning and scoring.
Kilsheelan-Kilcash may have a greater focus on their upcoming county semi-final and therefore getting off to a good start could be key for St Kierans.
Donie Nolan, Ray Cahill and Johnny McCarthy have been regular scorers all year and will need to get on the scoresheet early if the west Limerick men are to advance to the Munster semi-final.
That game would take place the following weekend and St Kierans would have to travel to Kerry to play their county intermediate champions; Kenmare Shamrocks.