Clare county champions Crusheen take on Carrigtwohill from Cork in the Munster Club Hurling Championship this weekend.
The Banner men will be anxious to show that the small village can hold their own with the best in the province. At present the area is best known as the birthplace of controversial jockey Kieren Fallon.
Last year the Clare side were knocked out in the opening round of the provincial series by Kilmallock of Limerick. The inexperience of the young side was certainly a factor as they conceded 2-4 in a six minute spell which effectively ended any chance they had of causing an upset. The side will be well aware of the need to keep their heads and concentration this Sunday and it is unlikely that Carrigtwohill will be allowed such an easy passage. Indeed, Crusheen limited their county final opponents Sixmilebride to just four points in their win last month.
Carrigtwohill had only a point to spare over CIT in this year’s Cork county decider and will be going all out to show that they are capable of representing the rebels at this level. The little East Cork village were surprise winners of this season’s title and confounded the pundits at every stage of the competition. They won their first county title in 93 years last month and while the celebrations are certain to have gone on for the last few weeks, the team will have got back to serious training once the month of November arrived. Inter county star Niall McCarthy is the man leading the way for Twohill and their journey may not be over just yet.
Crusheen have the experience of winning back to back county titles and may be more focused on the provincial campaign this season. In the likes of Gearoid O’Donnell, Paddy Meany and Fergus Kennedy they have proven match winners. Although the bookies have it 5/4 each of two, in this writers opinion the Banner men deserve the mantle of favourites. They may just be good enough to carry that tag, but Carriggtwohill have surprised bigger teams this year.