By Damian Dolan.
Sunday’s All Britain Junior Club hurling final should be vindication alone for the competition’s revamped format, and should at the very least leave the victors marginally better prepared for a crack at the All Ireland.
For John Mitchel’s it represents a second bite at the cherry, having already lost out to Sunday’s opponents Fullen Gaels in the Warwickshire senior hurling final, 0-17 to 1-11, in October. The back-door, however, has extended their season and they now have the chance for revenge.
Not that Fullen are short of motivation themselves. They went all the way to the All Ireland final last year and acquitted themselves admirably, before going down to Kilkenny junior champions Thomastown. Although many within their ranks went on to sample Croke Park success with Warwickshire in the Lory Meagher, the Manchester club have unfinished business in the All Ireland.
Mitchel’s are no strangers to the All Ireland themselves, but they’ve had to play second fiddle to Fullen in recent years, with the Manchester club’s Warwickshire championship success this year their fourth in a row – Mitchel’s their opponents in the final on all four occasions.
For more see this week’s edition of the Irish World