CARLOW teams will contest both the Leinster football and hurling club finals.
Éire Óg made it a remarkable double top for the county when they defeated joint record title holders Portlaoise in the football semi-final. They share the spotlight with St Mullins who had already clinched a place in the hurling final.
Local TD Pat Deering hailed the twin triumph. “Historic day for Carlow GAA as two clubs will will play in their respective Leinster finals for the first time,” he Tweeted. And Senator Jennifer Murnane O’Connor sent “huge congratulations to Eire Óg and their manager Joe Murphy on a thoroughly deserved win”.
Best wishes to both teams
“Both Eire Óg football and Saint Mullins hurling will represent Carlow in the Leinster Final,” she said in a Facebook posting. “Best wishes to both teams.”
Éire Óg were stars of the 1990s with five provincial title wins and several sons of players from that era were on the side that defeated Portlaoise by 2-11 to 1-06. They included Niall Quinlan, son of club and county legend Willie Quinlan. His three second-half points, all from frees, were crucial to Saturday’s victory.
Éire Óg will face Dublin’s St Endas or Garrycastle of Westmeath in the 8 December final. The hurling final will played on December 1.
Éire Óg dominated for three quarters of the contest at O’Moore Park and couldn’t have asked for a better start, bursting into a 1-03 to 0-01 lead after the opening quarter. The sides were level at half-time, but Éire Óg outscored Portlaoise by 1-06 to 0-01 in the second-half.
we’ll go out and give it 100 per cent
Chris Blake, who took plaudits for his excellent return of 1-4 , said they were inspired partly by the great team of the 1990s.
“It’s a bit of a dream to be honest, to get through,” he said . “No doubt we’ll be underdogs but I can guarantee we’ll go out and give it 100 per cent.”
Saturday’s victory followed a surprise quarter-final win over Kildare’s Sarsfields.