Students of Scoil Mocheallog primary school in Kilmallock showing their support for their local side in the county final at the Gaelic Grounds this Sunday Picture Michael Cowhey
IF YOUNG Pierce Connery’s confidence is anything to go by then Kilmallock are on course to reclaim the Daly Cup after a three-year wait.
“We’ll beat them by five points, I’d say,” says the 12-year-old of his side’s opponents on Sunday.
The eagerly awaited decider will see Kilmallock - who last took the county senior hurling title in 2014 - take on the 2016 All-Ireland club senior hurling championship winners, Na Piarsaigh.
Scoil Mocheallog student Pierce is going to the game with his dad Steven - Kilmallock GAA club chairman - and his younger brother Cathal, 9.
While the astute sixth-class student is confident of a Kilmallock win, he doesn’t underestimate the strength of Na Piarsaigh
“I think Peter Casey, Shane Dowling and William O’Donoghue pose the most threat,” he explained.
Fellow sixth-class student Kaelin O’Donnell will also be in the Gaelic Grounds for the 3.30pm throw-in on Sunday,
“I’m going with my parents Johnny and Aisling,” said the 11-year-old whose favourite player is Paudie O’Brien. “We had a green jersey day on Tuesday and there are flags all around the school.”
According to club chairman, Steven Connery, Kilmallock’s progression to the county final “is a great lift for the local community. It’s 2014 since the last win. It’s where we want to be from the start of the year to end up in a county final. It gives a great lift to the town. We were there in 2010, 2012 and 2014. People look forward to it now at this stage. It’s a great lift for the town.”
Kilmallock captain Liam Hurley said, “Getting to any county final is huge for the town and especially this year with the new development happening in the club - it’s a boost to the whole thing.”
GAA President Aogáin O Fearghail was in Kilmallock last month to launch the local club’s development plan.
Planning permission has now been granted by Limerick County Council for a state-of-the art new facility on the Kilmallock GAA club grounds.
“We’re trying to do both things - be successful on the field of play and successful off the field with the club,” said Steven. “It’s hard to run both of them at the same time. Kilmallock are lucky that both of them are successful on and off the field. It’s two different angles of the club but it’s important that both of them are kept going. It’s as important to be successful on the field than off the field.”
Sunday’s game will be televised live on TG4. and follow the Leader’s GAA correspondent @JeromeSport on Twitter for updates. Kilmallock also contest a County Junior A hurling semi-final against Rathkeale this Saturday at 3.30pm in Clarina.