Thurles Sarsfields set out on a road that they hope will bring them their first Munster Club Hurling Championship when they face a tricky assignment against Limerick champions Kilmallock in the quarter-final in Kilmallock on this Sunday (2pm).
Despite winning 32 County Championships Sarsfields have yet to taste success in Munster but this year presents them with a good opportunity to put that right.
Their latest county title was won a fortnight ago against holders Drom/Inch, whom they beat by 3 points in an exciting final.
Aidan McCormack was the star of the show, scoring 1-6 from play, and with players of the calibre of the Tipperary senior trio of Lar Corbett, Padraic Maher and Michael Cahill, as well as other capable performers in Michael Gleeson, Michael O’Brien, Johnny Enright and David Kennedy they seem well placed for a good run in this competition.
However they know they won’t have it easy against a Kilmallock team managed by former Clare boss Tony Considine and captained by Paudie O’Brien.
They have two provincial titles to their credit, the last of which was won in 1994 when they beat Toomevara in the final by a goal.
They secured their 10th Limerick title when they beat Adare by a goal in the final when they had top performances from Gavin O’Mahony, Eoin Ryan and Jake Mulcahy.
Sarsfields won their last meeting by 2-10 to 0-11 in the Munster semi-final two years ago when goals by Lar Corbett and sub Michael O’Brien helped them to a hard-earned five point victory after the sides were level at 0-6 each at half-time.
The referee is Colm Lyons of Cork and if the teams finish level at the end of 60 minutes extra time will be played.
The winners meet Sarsfields of Cork in the Munster Club Semi-Final on Sunday, November 11th at a Tipperary or Cork venue.