The Blue Devils look to take down the cream of the cats

GAA: All Ireland IHC Semi Final

Big game man: Tooreen will be hoping that Fergal Boland can be a major player for them on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile.

Big game man: Tooreen will be hoping that Fergal Boland can be a major player for them on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile.

Nocturnal activities saw Tooreen hit the headlines back in 1958 and that tale is the inspiration for the blue devil on the club's crest. On Saturday, the men from east Mayo will face off with a club that hit the headlines for other nocturnal goings on last year, for a place in the All Ireland Intermediate Hurling Championship final.

The meeting of Tooreen and St Patrick's - Ballyragget tomorrow afternoon in the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick offers the Mayo outfit a chance to make even more history - having become the first Mayo team to win the Connacht Intermediate Hurling Championship since the competition's inception 13 years ago, not only were they the first Mayo team to win it, they were the first team outside of Galway to claim the crown. That victory over Galway champions Ballinderreen in Athleague in November propelled Paul Hunt's team to within 60 minutes of a place in Croke Park in February and the chance to win an All Ireland title.

When the casual observer thinks of hurling in Mayo, Tooreen is more than likely the first club that will pop into their mind - with the club having won 28 titles since 1966 and dominating the game in the 1980s and 1990s until their near neighbours Ballyhaunis hit their own brilliant run of county titles. Last year Tooreen wrestled the Tyrrell Cup back from the aforementioned Ballyhaunis with a 2-10 to 0-6 win. The club celebrated its 60th birthday last year and claiming the county and provincial title was a fantastic way to mark the anniversary.

In the provincial final they were in devastating form again running out four point winners against their Galway opponents Ballinderreen on a score of 1-15 to 1-11. Shane Boland was their go to man hitting seven points that day - with four of them coming from frees. Kenny Feeney and Fergal Boland also had good days in front of the posts finishing up with four and three points respectively, while Cathal Freeman got their all important goal from the penalty spot.

Despite facing off against the Kilkenny and Leinster champions, Tooreen know that they possess a serious attack threat themselves with the likes of Feeney, Shane and Fergal Boland, Ciaran Charlton, and Sean Regan all well capable of running up big scores if they get the chance. Cathal Freeman at centre-half-back will be looking to marshal the defence and keep the Ballyragget forwards as quiet as possible with Michael Morley, Daniel Huane, and David Kenny all well capable of locking down their men too.

Their opponents on Saturday came through a tough Leinster decider to book their spot in tomorrow's game - edging out Wicklow champions Glenealy thanks to a last gasp winning point from Kilkenny senior Kevin Kelly, who scored 11 points in a game that saw them come from three behind late on to snatch victory from the Wicklow champions. Along the way to that provincial final win they also saw off the challenge of Ardclough from Kildare in the Leinster quarter final with ease and in the semifinal they held off the challenge of Meath outfit Kiltale to set up their Leinster final with Glenealy.

For those who cannot make the game on Saturday, the game will be live streamed on with coverage starting at 1.30pm and the game throwing in at 2pm.


Page generated in 0.1030 seconds.