Sibling rivalry: Brothers to line out on opposite sides in Cuala-Ballyea All-Ireland final

It will be an interesting few weeks for Aonghus and Niall Keane.

THE CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS and gripping storylines tend to go hand in hand but this year’s senior hurling decider between Cuala of Dublin and Clare’s Ballyea has an added edge with two brothers set to be in opposite camps on St Patrick’s Day.

It’s happened before within counties, the contest between siblings Brian Hogan of O’Loughlin Gaels and Clara’s Keith Hogan in the Kilkenny senior hurling final of 2015 being a recent example.

However, the fact that the two clubs in this year’s hurling final are located on opposite sides of the country, more than 250km apart, makes this scenario particularly special.

Niall Keane, a former Ballyea man, joined the Dublin champions this past season and will be togging out against his former club, who have his brother Aonghus in their ranks.

Defender Niall, who moved to the capital for work reasons, was the first Ballyea hurler to win an U21 All-Ireland as part of the Banner side who were crowned champions in 2009.

Younger brother Aonghus is a forward while the brothers’ father Michael is a former chairman of Ballyea.

Neither brother featured in their club’s respective semi-final victories, where they were both incidentally wearing number 24, but there is a chance we could yet see two siblings playing against each other at Croke Park on St Patrick’s Day.

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Ballyea's teamsheet ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final against St Thomas' of Galway. Source: St Thomas' GAA - Twitter

Cuala's teamsheet for Saturday's semi-final win against Slaughtneil. Source: DubMatch Tracker - Twitter

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About the author:

Alan Waldron

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