2021 has been a great year for the county on the hurling and camogie front but there’s been very little small ball stuff to talk about in recent weeks. This weekend, however, the hurlers have the stage to themselves, with the county SHC final set to take place on Saturday.
You won’t, I’m sure, fall off your chair to learn that, once again, the TJ Tyrell Cup decider will be contested by Ballyhaunis and Tooreen. Aside from 2019 when Castlebar Mitchels shocked Ballyhaunis in the semis, this particular duopoly stretches back to 2008, with the townie lads having the better of the exchanges, winning nine of those finals to Tooreen’s four.
The most recent title Ballyhaunis won was last year’s when they ended Tooreen’s tilt for a four-in-a-row. With the club’s footballers now just an hour away from recovering their Senior status, this has the potential to be a year to remember for Ballyhaunis so they’ll be very keen to claim back-to-back Tyrell Cup wins on Saturday.
Westport and Castlebar both competed in the SHC as well this year but, to be honest, they were no match for Saturday’s finalists. It’s good, though, to see the Senior hurling ranks expanding within the county and the hope has to be that this will lead, in time, to a more competitive Championship.
The standout game in the Championship to date was, of course, the group stage meeting between Ballyhaunis and Tooreen. That game, played early last month, went the challengers’ way, as they won by 1-16 to 0-16.
Tooreen topped the group with three wins from three outings, while Ballyhaunis then went on to face Castlebar Mitchels in the semi-final. That one was played at Ballaghaderreen the weekend before last, with Ballyhaunis coming through on a scoreline of 2-20 to 0-6.
Saturday’s Tyrell Cup decider takes place in Ballyhaunis. Throw-in there on Saturday is 2pm.