Park-Ratheniska is the place to be on Saturday afternoon as one Laois company will strive for Inter-firms hurling glory.
First Ireland Spirits, from Abbeyleix, will take on Mergon International of Westmeath at 1pm in the Junior Hurling final.
The Laois side have reached the decider following great wins over Portlaoise Prison and Romaquip of Offaly.
First Ireland Spirits are managed by Spink’s Denis Kehoe and Clough-Ballacolla’s John Fitzpatrick.
Clubs represented on the team include Rathdowney-Errill, Clough-Ballacolla, Shanahoe, The Harps, Abbeyleix, Borris-Kilcotton and Ballypickas.
Indeed, all bar two of the panel are from Laois with just Alan Kelly (St Martin’s Muckalee Kilkenny) and Tom Ryan (Drom & Inch Tipperary) coming from counties outside.
Speaking to LaoisToday, Denis Kehoe said there is a real buzz around the factory this week ahead of the game.
He said: “The whole place is really excited for the match on Saturday and to have it in Ratheniska is brilliant for us.
“There are only 65 lads working in First Ireland Spirits in Abbeyleix and we are just lucky that so many of them have an interest in GAA.
“We have great representation from Laois and then a sprinkling of class from Kilkenny and Tipperary.”
First Ireland Spirits face Mergon International which is an Irish owned company with operations in Ireland, Czech Republic and USA.
Established in 1981, Mergon works with leaders in the Automotive, Industrial and Healthcare sectors.
As for their hurlers, Denis says they have county players from Offaly and Westmeath so he reckons it will be a tough task.
He said: “I think they have one Offaly senior hurler and two or three from Westmeath so they will be strong.
“But we are hoping to get a good crowd in Ratheniska on Saturday as the support we got in the semi final win in Abbeyleix certainly helped.”
Best of luck to all the lads on Saturday!
TEAM: Alan Holohan (Rathdowney-Errill); Brian Costigan (Clough-Ballacolla), Mark Kirwan (Shanahoe), John Thomas Delaney (Shanahoe); Alan Kelly (Castlecomer), John Prior (The Harps), Dayle Bergin (Shanahoe); Jamie Coffey (Abbeyleix), Ronan Broderick (Clough Ballacolla); Tom Ryan (Drom & Inch), Martin Kirwan (Shanahoe), Enda Fitzpatrick (Borris-Kilcotton); Keith McEvoy (Ballypickas), Jimmy Kirwan (Shanahoe); Anthony Kirwan (Shanahoe), Alan Kelly (Abbeyleix), Damien Fitzpatrick (Abbeyleix), Joe Foyle (Park-Ratheniska-Timahoe), James Jacob (Shanahoe), MJ Lalor (Ballypickas)
Managment: Denis Kehoe (Spink), John Fitzpatrick (Clough Ballacolla)