Juggling Act

Schools fixture change likely as Ballyhale and St Kieran's players chase All-Ireland hurling double

Eoin Cody, who starred in the All-Ireland club semi-final, is one of the players involved in both sides.

AN ALL-IRELAND schools fixture change is again likely to take place this year due to the St Patrick’s Day club finals in Croke Park.

Eoin Cody Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Eoin Cody will be in action for Ballyhale Shamrocks in the All-Ireland club hurling final. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Kilkenny hurling giants Ballyhale Shamrocks are aspiring to land their seventh national crown on 17 March against Galway’s St Thomas. The victory would push them further ahead at the top of the roll of honour and clinch their fourth title in 13 years. 

The hectic fixtures schedule has arisen for three of their players – Dean Mason, Eoin Cody and Darragh Corcoran – due to their involvement with the St Kieran’s side in action in the All-Ireland senior side Croke Cup. Both Mason and Cody are regular starters for Ballyhale while Corcoran is a member of their panel. Cody was the hero of the semi-final win over Ballygunner as he struck 1-4 from play.

St Kieran’s recently lifted the Leinster colleges title for the 55th time with Mason in goal, Corcoran at wing-back and Cody at centre-forward. The All-Ireland semi-finals are pencilled in for Bank Holiday Monday 18 March with St Kieran’s set to face CBC Cork, winners over Gort CS in Saturday’s quarter-final tie.

But with the club decider 24 hours previously, the game is likely to go back to Wednesday 20 March with both schools agreeable to the fixture change.

Ballyhale Twitter - @BallyhaleGAA Twitter - @BallyhaleGAA

It’s third time in four years that talented young hurlers have faced a packed fixture programme like this.

Last March, Limerick’s Jerome Boylan played at corner-back in Croke Park for Na Piarsaigh in their All-Ireland drawn final that went to extra-time on St Patrick’s Day. Three days later he was in action for Ardscoil Rís as they lost in Clonmel an All-Ireland semi-final to St Kieran’s, who had both Mason and Cody in their ranks.

Then on Saturday 24 March he was back lining out for Na Piarsaigh as they lost out to Dublin’s Cuala in the All-Ireland final replay in Portlaoise.

Con O’Callaghan with William O’Donoghue and Jerome Boylan Gary Carr / INPHO Jerome Boylan (right) goes up against Con O'Callaghan in last year's All-Ireland decider. Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

In 2016 Na Piarsaigh won the All-Ireland title with Peter Casey shooting 0-3 as they lofted the Tommy Moore Cup with a win over Antrim champions Cushendall. Five days beforehand he had helped Ardscoil Rís win an All-Ireland semi-final tie against Presentation Athenry.

Peter Casey is tackled by Martin Burke Peter Casey impressed in the 2016 All-Ireland club final.

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