The All-Ireland Hurling weekend is almost upon us and it will begin for all hurling enthusiasts on the pitches in Kilmacud where the country’s top club hurling sides will compete for their own All-Ireland title.
The One Direct All-Ireland Hurling Sevens, organised by Kilmacud Crokes G.A.A. Club and kindly sponsored by One Direct, was officially launched in Croke Park on Tuesday 26th August.
In existence since 1973, and almost as old as the All-Ireland club championship itself, the Sevens has been graced by the greatest players and teams hurling has known. D.J. Carey, Jamesie O’Connor, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, John Leahy, Donal Og Cusack, Eoin Kelly and Joe Canning are just a few of the All-Star recipients and All-Ireland winners that have taken part in this tournament. Proud club sides from all over the country, including Borrisoleigh (Tipperary), Young Irelands (Kilkenny), Portumna (Galway), and last year, Ballyboden St Endas (Dublin) have all claimed the One Direct Cup, one of the most coveted prizes in club hurling.
The Sevens form of the game emphasises accurate striking, maintenance of possession and clinical score-taking. Sevens games are invariably high scoring and physically tough encounters where fitness touch and speed are crucial to success. Indeed, it would be hard to argue that the modern 15-man game has not taken a lot from its Sevens cousin in recent times. One thing is guaranteed, the latter stages of this tournament will be contested as fiercely as any county championship final.
In addition to the main Cup tournament a Shield Competition is also run, catering for teams from the non-traditional hurling counties. There is also an U13 11-a-side event that never fails to produce some glorious hurling from the stars of tomorrow. In all, Kilmacud Crokes will play host to 64 teams and a total of 96 games will be played on the day.
Among the many guests in attendance at today’s launch were former Tipp greats and multiple All-Ireland Sevens winners John Leahy and Richie Stakelum. They were joined by recent Kilkenny star Martin Comerford and all three are looking forward to another titanic battle between two of hurling’s aristocrats on Sunday week. With 9 All-Ireland senior medals between them there were always going to be strong views expressed on where the Liam McCarthy Cup will rest for the winter. Current Dublin and ‘Crokes hurlers Niall Corcoran wasn’t short of an opinion either, having hurled against both finalists in the championship this summer.
At the launch David Egan, Managing Director of One Direct, said “One Direct is very proud to sponsor this great event for the third year. The All-Ireland Club Hurling sevens competition is a great fit for One Direct. The GAA club is at the heart of every parish in Ireland, where clubs provide a showcase for local talent and help to make heroes of young men and women who tog out every weekend. Just like the GAA, One Direct, through our parent An Post, have a presence in every parish and thrive from being an integral part of local communities. Our products and services are available in over 1,100 Post Offices as well as face to face in 27 locations throughout the country. We wish all the players and clubs participating every success and to those attending, an enjoyable day”.
Peter Walsh, Chairman of Kilmacud Crokes Hurling added “we welcome all of our old friends back to Kilmacud, and look forward to making some new ones, at this year’s Sevens. We invite all hurling supporters to our six venues to enjoy a feast of top quality hurling on All-Ireland Saturday”
The One Direct All-Ireland Hurling Sevens will be held on Saturday 6th September spread over 5 venues in the Kilmacud area including Glenalbyn, UCD, Deerpark, Silverpark, Naomh Olaf and Bray Emmets with games starting at 10.30 a.m. The final will be played in Pairc De Burca, Glenalbyn at 6.30 p.m.
Fixtures will be available on www.kilmacudcrokes-hurling.com from the middle of next week.
For further information contact:
Colm Maher, Marketing/Communications Officer – 087-2755074; email@example.com
Brian Geraghty, Competition Secretary – 087-2312378; firstname.lastname@example.org