Back-to-back Laois SHC champions Clough-Ballacolla begin their Leinster championship adventure against Raparees in O’Moore Park this weekend.
On Saturday, the Laois side will be hoping to do something that they haven’t managed before – win a game in the provincial competition.
2009, 2011 and 2015 saw Clough-Ballacolla enter Leinster but each time they fell at the first hurdle.
Speaking on the LaoisToday Talking Sport Podcast this week, forward Stephen Bergin says this is a record that they are determined to change.
He said: “We had fun for a few days after winning the final and there is great enjoyment, up there with the best days of your life.
“After that then we had Willie Dunphy’s stag to go to but you have to give credit to Declan and the management, they respect us and we respect them.
“Because of the respect them show us, everyone is back training fully now and fully focused on Saturday against Raparees.
“Winning in Leinster is something that we have never done as a club so it is a big thing – especially for the likes of Mick McEvoy and Willie Hyland who have been there since 2009.
“So hopefully we can put that one right on Saturday.”
Bergin is also hopeful that Clough-Ballacolla will have a full deck to choose from this week.
He said: “We were all devastated for Eoin Doyle that he missed the final through suspension but he is back now.
“He’ll be raring to go while Mark Hennessy should be back there or there abouts.
“So we should have a strong panel to chose from now with Ronan Broderick and Tom Delaney fully flying too.
“So we have to be confident and believe we can do it. We are at home in O’Moore Park so we have to give it our all and hope it is enough.”