Tooreen looking to defend historic title

GAA: Connacht IHC Final

Last year Tooreen created a bit of history by becoming the first Mayo side to win the Connacht intermediate hurling title - and they are back this year looking to defend that title.

The east Mayo men have had to take the scenic route to the final this year, travelling to McGovern Park in London to defeat the London champions, St Gabriels, in the semi-final, with the addition of the London champions to the competition being something new this year.

Tomorrow afternoon the Mayo men will face an even tougher challenge, when they go toe-to-toe with the Galway intermediate champions, Oranmore-Maree, in Athleague, with throw in at 1.30pm.

The Galway champions come into this game stacked with talent - with two inter-county All Ireland senior winners leading their line, in the shape of Niall Burke and Gearoid McInerney leading them on the field, while off it they have one of the most recognisable faces from the history of Galway hurling, with Gerry McInerney in the Bainisteoir's bib.

They moved straight into Sunday's final thanks to their 3-19 to 1-11 win over Kilconieron at the start of the month. While the pairing of Burke and McInerney are going to take serious watching, they have quality throughout the team with Ross Malone, Niall Geoghegan, Rian Maher and Sean McInerney all capable of putting in top performances.

Tooreen may have the odds stacked against them, but they were last year too when they faced Ballinderreen last year and they managed to see off the then Galway champions.

While on paper the Galway side look the good bet to win this one, Tooreen will not bend the knee easily and with players like Fergal Boland, David Kenny, Shane Morley, Stephen Coyne, Sean Regan and Michael Morley in their ranks - Tooreen manager Paul Hunt has players who will give their all on the field tomorrow afternoon.

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