It’s been nothing short of a spectacular year for Dublin hurling. They collected a Walsh cup, National league title – first since 1965, twice beating Kilkenny in the process, and reached the semi-finals of the Senior All-Ireland, where they narrowly lost out to Tipp and were defeated by Galway in the U-21 decider.
Another string to their bow was the announcement that manager Anthony Daly has pledged his commitment for another year, however the icing on the cake is the news that no fewer than ten senior players have been shortlisted in the All-Star nominations which makes it a memorable year to be hurling fan in Dublin.
This renewed surge and interest in Dublin hurling will hopefully persuade their new fan base to turn out en masse, and watch this weekend’s quarter-final between reigning champions Ballyboden St. Endas and newcomers Ballinteer St. Johns at Parnell Park, Saturday, throw in 5.30pm.
Ballinteer launched their maiden Senior Hurling Championship encounter against 2009 finalists Na Fianna hammering them 2-15 to 0-8 last month.
Rising star Joe Maher scored a number of frees including a fantastic effort from way out in the side-line while two out of the side’s four minors, Aodhan Clabby and Donal Gormley chipped in with valuable points before Mahers two late goals sealed the victory.
Four-in-a-row champions Ballybodens are chasing an historic fifth title and with the side containing recent All-Star nominee Paul Ryan, they possess the firepower most other clubs could only dream of.
The south-siders received a bye into the quarters and are overwhelming favourites to make another final, but will have to be wary of last year’s ‘B’ Championship winners, Ballinteer, would are predicted to cause an upset this year.
All that aside, ‘Boden will have too much experience and guile to succumb to an unexpected exit this early in the championship.