The final of the Carlow Senior football championship takes place this coming Sunday and it brings together two clubs from opposite ends of the Carlow football spectrum.
Tinryland are one of the tradition powerhouses of Carlow football and currently sit 3rd in the roll of honour with 15 titles. However, they have not lifted the title since 1981.
Old Leighlin on the other hand, have only 2 titles to their name. It must not be forgotten though that they are the county champions having beaten Rathvilly in last year’s decider.
The champions came through to the knock-out stages of the championship extremely comfortably, winning four and drawing one of their group games. They drew with Eire Og and beat Naomh Padraig, Kildavin/Clonegal and Kilbride as well as enjoying a one point victory over this Sunday’s opponents in a hard fought encounterback in August.
Having topped their group, they came up against Eire Og again in the semi-final and amazingly, played out another draw. However, they proved too strong for the Carlow town side in the replay, winning by 2-7 to 1-6.
Once again, midfielder, Mark Brennan is likely to be a key man for Old Leighlin on Sunday as are attackers, David Bambrick and Seamus Kinsella.
Tinryland also enjoyed a simple enough passage through the group stages with the narrow defeat to Old Leighlin and a draw with Eire Og being their only detriments to a 100% record.
In the quarter-final, they comfortably ousted O’Hanrahans by 3-16 to 0-11 and in the semi-final, they accounted for the champions of 2009, Rathvilly on a scoreline of 0-11 to 0-10.
As they face into this day of days for the club, they will be hoping that their star names can bring their best form to Dr Cullen Park on Sunday. Men such as county goalkeeper, Trevor O’Reilly, team captain, Shane Redmond and Evan Doyle will need to be on top form for Tinryland.
Such has been the closeness of the form of both of these sides over the year that it is almost impossible to pick a winner. The experience of Old Leighlin may just win the day for them.
Verdict: Old Leighlin