Killenaule captain Thomas Keaveney (left) with teammate Jimmy Feehan hold off Darren Cass (St. Mary's) in this year's South SHC semi-final played at Fethard.
The South Tipperary Senior Hurling Final launch took place at the GAA Centre in Clonmel on Friday night last.
Looking ahead to the decider on Sunday week, 22nd July at Clonmel Sportsfield, Killenaule joint-captain Thomas Keaveney took time out to look ahead to the final against Mullinahone.
I began by reminding Thomas that Killenaule haven't been having a good time in South Senior Hurling Finals in recent years
“We are after losing more South finals than we have won down the years, and I know it doesn’t look great on stats and what have you. But as far as I am concerned that is all in the past now. We will be hoping to change that a bit on Sunday week. Things are going well this year and hopefully we will be able to do the job this time round. We certainly will be giving it everything,” said Keaveney, joint-captain this year with John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer.
“With regard to Mullinahone and finals, it doesn’t come down to any particular reason. It’s not a mental thing or anything like that, anyway. It’s just that they have been the better team over the last few years and they have a lot of very good hurlers. But as we always do we will give it our all again on Sunday week, that’s all we can do. They have beaten us in a few finals in recent years but we are hoping we can get one back this time around,” said Keaveney.
I asked him had the fact that some Killenaule players had been involved in county panels this year affected their preparations. Whether the stop-start nature of the new hurling season, had made it difficult for club hurlers and club hurling teams?
“We had seven lads tied up with county teams this year, under 21 football, county football, under 21 hurling. Some lads were away from the club for a lot the year, and that presents problems in itself in trying to keep things the way you would want them to be. But thankfully they have all come back to the club and are training well now for the South final.
“It’s good to have them all around and things can click together better when you have your full panel. Hopefully we can bond well on the day and give our best performance and of course get the right result.” added the Killenaule captain.
“We are at full strength now with the exception of Pat Kerwick, the only one that might be doubtful. He is just back from an knee injury and is doing a small bit of training again. He would be a big loss for us if he can’t line out but we are hoping he can and will be okay on the day. He is a big addition to us when he is going well.” added Keaveney.
I asked Thomas does it still mean as much as ever to Killenaule to capture the South Senior Hurling title?
“It means a lot to the club and personally it is a great honour for me to be captain of Killenaule. To captain Killenaule to a senior title would mean the world to me and it would mean the world to the rest of the boys too. We have been training all year for this, we have been at it since last January and we are into July now and we want to have something at the end of the year to make it all worthwhile,” he replied, heart on sleeve.
“Having lost to Eire Og Annacarty in the county championship first round over in Dundrum, a game we thought we should have won, it puts a bit more pressure on us now and it means a lot more to win the South as it would help take some pressure off in our last couple of county championship games,” concluded Keaveney.