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  • GAA

Rural clubs coming back to life

Wednesday, 19th December, 2018 1:44pm

Story by Shane Brophy
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Rural clubs coming back to life

Jubilant scenes in the Clonoulty/Rossmore dressing room after their County Under 21 'A' Hurling final won over Thurles Sarsfields. Photo: Eamonn McGee

Rural clubs coming back to life

Jubilant scenes in the Clonoulty/Rossmore dressing room after their County Under 21 'A' Hurling final won over Thurles Sarsfields. Photo: Eamonn McGee

What a year it has been for Clonoulty-Rossmore!

In winning a first ever county under 21 'A' hurling title (at the eleventh attempt) to the county senior hurling championships won earlier in the year, it will go down as arguably the best in the history of the West Tipperary club.

Adding in the fact their second team, were defeated after a replay in the junior 'A' championship semi-final by eventual winners Boherlahan, plus their senior camogie team reaching a first ever county final in the past year, it has been a remarkably successful year for the club.

It continues a welcome renaissance for rural clubs at both local and national level as the fear was growing in recent years that only areas of big population would be able to compete for silverware but the likes of Clonoulty-Rossmore, Mullinalaghta and Gaoth Dobhair have shown in recent weeks that the spirit of a country club remains hugely unique and can help bridge the gap in terms of numbers and talent.

It was never more highlighted last weekend by Clonoulty-Rossmore who were forced to line out without their best player, Dillon Quirke, who was struck down with a virus during the week and had to watch the game from the sidelines, only coming on in the dying moments to help his side see the game out.

In most other clubs, losing a player that starred for the Tipperary under 21's in their All Ireland success and has been called into the senior set-up off the back of it, would have been enough to see some players drop their heads, particularly when up against the might of Thurles Sarsfields.

 

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