Home Sport GAA Clough-Ballacolla and Trumera set to do battle for Intermediate hurling honours

Clough-Ballacolla and Trumera set to do battle for Intermediate hurling honours

Laois IHC Final - Clough-Ballacolla v Trumera
Photo: Pat Delaney

Clough-Ballacolla v Trumera
In O’Moore Park at 7.30pm

The Laois Intermediate hurling championship will come to a conclusion this evening when Clough-Ballacolla and Trumera do battle under the O’Moore Park floodlights.

There’s no doubt the two best teams in the competition have reached the final – both unbeaten, both having scored well and with a couple of big wins and both having been in the mix in the championship in recent seasons.

Trumera were only beaten in the 2020 final back in June by Rathdowney-Errill but they have bounced back well by reaching the Division 2 league final and topping their group with wins over Mountrath, Mountmellick and The Harps and then seeing off Borris-Kilcotton by five points in the semi-final.

Clough-Ballacolla, who lost the 2020 semi-final to Trumera in a bad-tempered affair last year, beat Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe, Clonad and Borris-Kilcotton in the group stages before then beating The Harps by a point in the semi-final.

Their seasons so far have been almost identical, clocking up big scores in their first two rounds to ensure their knockout place, top the group with a narrow victory and then two decent battles in the semi-final.

Clough-Ballacolla have experienced operators throughout the field and goalkeeper Danny Hanlon, Canice Coonan, who captains the side, Brendan McEvoy, Shane Hanlon and Damien Bergin all with multiple senior county medals.

They also have a couple of exciting young players like Padraig Brennan, Kevin Mulhall and Chris Rafter who’ll probably break through to the senior starting team in the coming years.

Trumera, as they have done for years, are getting every last drop out of their older players and John O’Connor and Paddy Callaghan in defence as well as Cathal Brophy at full-forward all have 20+ years experience with the club.

They also have introduced a batch of new young players in recent years, many of whom have featured with inter-county minor and U-20 teams, and Finnian Cuddy, Bryan Bredin, Adam Kirwan and Paddy Hosey offer plenty of quality.

Dylan Lalor, captain Caolan Murphy and free taker Niall Sinnott are all fine players too.

Trumera won this intermediate grade as recently as 2017 as well as in 2015 and the old junior championship in 2010 when it was the third tier, as it is now.

For Clough-Ballacolla’s second team, winning this championship would be a significant triumph too. Beaten in the 2016 final by Rosenallis, they’ve since competed very well but have invariably fallen short at the semi-final stage.

There’s history between the clubs on county final day too. A special moment for Clough-Ballacolla was their 1998 intermediate final win over Trumera and they’ve been senior since.

Canice Coonan was a young player on that team in 1998 and things could go full circle this evening if he captains Clough-Ballacolla to success.

It should be a very tight one but Clough-Ballacolla’s greater experience could swing it their way.

Paths to Final

Clough-Ballacolla

  • Round 1 – Clough-Ballacolla 2-23 Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe 1-19
  • Round 2 – Clough-Ballacolla 2-21 Clonad 1-5
  • Round 3 – Clough-Ballacolla 3-19 Borris-Kilcotton 1-20
  • Semi-final – Clough-Ballacolla 0-19 The Harps 1-15

Trumera

  • Round 1 – Trumera 4-16 Mountrath 0-20
  • Round 2 – Trumera 3-19 Mountmellick 3-14
  • Round 3 – Trumera 1-14 The Harps 0-11
  • Semi-final – Trumera 0-20 Borris-Kilcotton 0-15

SEE ALSO – Talking Sport Podcast: Hurling previews, county finals and from Warsaw to Wolfhill

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he's happiest when he's telling stories or kicking a point.