In what promises to be a showdown for the ages, O’Loughlin Gaels and reigning champions Ballyhale Shamrocks are gearing up for the highly anticipated Kilkenny Senior Hurling Championship final this Sunday.
Ahead of the game, KCLR caught up with former Shamrocks manager James O’Connor, who led his team to victory over O’Loughlins in 2021. You can hear the full interview on Scoreline this Saturday where O’Connor predicts a historic sixth consecutive county title for his former side.
Reflecting on the upcoming encounter, James O’Connor, the former Shamrocks manager, expressed his thoughts on the caliber of the teams involved. “You have two exceptionally good teams here now again, two very physical teams, two teams that are well able to hurl. And you have exceptionally good players on both sides, so it’s no surprise to me that both these teams are back in the county final,” O’Connor remarked.
See also: “The majority of pundits have said that Ballyhale would not win this year’s county final” Shamrocks manager Pat Hoban looks ahead to Kilkenny county final
Looking back a couple of months, O’Connor foresaw O’Loughlin Gaels and Ballyhale Shamrocks emerging as the top contenders for the championship. His prediction has come to fruition, setting the stage for a clash that has all the ingredients of a memorable final.
“I think it’ll be a tight game, I’ll be honest with you,” O’Connor continued, emphasizing the evenly matched nature of the teams. However, when pressed for a winner, the former Shamrocks manager leaned towards his old side, predicting a victory by a slim margin. “On the day, looking at it for me, I would probably say the Shamrocks by a couple of points. If I was to be pushed on it, I think I’d be going for the Shamrocks,” he added.
The stakes are undoubtedly high as Ballyhale Shamrocks aim for a historic sixth consecutive county title, a feat that would further solidify their status as a powerhouse in Kilkenny hurling. O’Loughlin Gaels, on the other hand, will be determined to upset the odds and claim the championship glory for the first time since 2016.
The thrilling encounter will be broadcast on KCLR, and the coverage is made possible by the generous support of Gerry Comerford Drilling and Eugene Foley Construction.
Fan of Kilkenny hurling? Well check out our Kilkenny Hurling podcast below
Each week Robbie Dowling and former Blacks and Whites manager Eddie Scally cast their eye over all the action from the weekend’s senior, intermediate, and junior league and championship games as well as looking ahead to the next round of action.