St Louis hurlers set sights on All-Ireland glory

The St Louis team who will play Abbey CBS of Tipperary in the final of the Paddy Buggy Cup (All Ireland Colleges Hurling B) in Thurles on Easter Monday
The St Louis team who will play Abbey CBS of Tipperary in the final of the Paddy Buggy Cup (All Ireland Colleges Hurling B) in Thurles on Easter Monday

St Louis Grammar School’s senior hurlers have their sights set on an historic All-Ireland triumph today (Monday).

The Cullybackey Road boys face a long trip to take on Abbey CBS in the final of the Paddy Buggy Cup on Easter Monday afternoon (2.15pm).

The fact that the final will be played in their opponents’ back yard, in Semple Stadium, Thurles, only serves to add to the difficulty of the task.

However, having played in front of a crowd of almost 4,000 in their Mageean Cup final success back in October, the St Louis won’t be daunted by the prospect.

That was only first time in 27 years that St Louis had landed the Mageean Cup - a magnificent achievement in itself - but rather than rest on their laurels, St Louis have used that a springboard for attempting further unprecedented success at all-Ireland level.

The squad is comprised of players who represent a number of different clubs in the local area - including All Saints Ballymena, Portglenone/Sean Stinsons, Dunloy Cuchullians, Loughgiel Shamrocks and Tir na nOg - and they have dovetailed superbly to create a formidable unit at schools’ level.

The individual components of the team have also been recognised with no fewer than SIX of the team collecting All-star Awards prior to Christmas - a feat achieved only once previously in the history of Ulster Schools’ GAA.

St Louis clinched their place in the final by beating Connaught champions St Raphael’s College, Loughrea, but coach Colm Morgan reflected: “Our intensity levels dropped a bit in the last quarter and we let St Raphael’s back in the game with some relatively handy scores and goals, but it gives us something to work on for the final.

“The lads will have to play at another level in the final.

“There is another gear to be found and hopefully we do that in the final,” he added.