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7 reasons why Ardscoil Rís is at the heart of next Sunday’s Limerick-Clare game

The famous hurling nursery provides plenty of alumni at Croker this weekend.

1. A LARGE CONTINGENT of the Limerick squad passed through the doors of Ardscoil Rís when it came to completing their second-level education.

From the starting team from the Munster final, both Declan Hannon and David Breen are past students.

Conor Allis, Niall Moran, Shane Dowling and Kevin Downes — who all came on as substitutes against Cork in that decider — are all past pupils as well. Limerick panellists Alan Dempsey, Mark Carmody and Adrian Breen also went to Ardscoil Rís.

2. Niall Moran is not just a past pupil of the school, he currently teaches there. And Moran has been heavily involved in the coaching of the school’s hurling teams. Ardscoil Rís enjoyed a golden period in winning the Dr Harty Cup in 2010 and 2011. They also reached the All-Ireland Colleges (Croke Cup) final in both of those seasons where they fell agonisingly short against St Kieran’s on both occasions.

3. Ardscoil Rís is situated on the North Circular Road in Limerick city but it’s proximity to the border with Clare means it draws plenty of students from the Banner county. Current members of Davy Fitzgerald’s Clare senior squad who attended the school are Darach Honan, Nicky O’Connell, Conor Ryan, Cathal McInerney, Derek Fahy and Jamie Shanahan.

4. Another past student of Ardscoil Rís is Paul Kinnerk. He is the current highly-rated coach of the Clare senior and U21 hurling sides who are both preparing for assaults on All-Ireland titles. Kinnerk has also played senior football for Limerick over the past couple of years and has won a county senior medal with Monaleen.

5. Next Sunday is also a massive day for the Limerick minor hurlers as they face Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park. And Ardscoil Rís students David Dempsey, Cian Lynch, Ronan Lynch, Michael Casey, Eoghan Costello and Kieran Daly are all part of the county’s minor squad who are coming off the back of a Munster title.

6. In Ardscoil Rís, they would be familiar with some other leading lights in the Clare squad as well. “St Flannan’s beat us in the 2005 Dean Ryan Cup final,” says Derek Larkin, an Ardscoil Rís teacher who has been at the forefront of hurling coaching in the school.

7. Irrespective of the result next Sunday, Ardscoil Rís are planning on bringing silverware to the school in September.“We intend to have the Limerick minor and senior sides in the school with their Munster trophies,” says Larkin.

“It’d be great if either past pupils from Clare or Limerick were there with the Liam McCarthy Cup as well. That’s the dream anyway for us.

“We’d wish both sets of players the very best of luck from everyone in Ardscoil Rís. It should be a great occasion and we’re looking forward to it.”

Murph’s Sideline Cut: You can thank Brian Cody for the game of the year yesterday

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