Seir Kieran hoping to deliver in Leinster
By Cian O’Connell
In Clareen hurling usually is placed high on the agenda, but these few weeks have brought particular hope and expectation.
Saturday’s AIB Leinster Intermediate decider against an accomplished Tullaroan outfit is the next challenge for Seir Kieran, who have enjoyed a productive stint.
Relegated to Senior B in Offaly at the end of last year, the proud Seir Kieran club, who won four County Championships when the Dooleys were in their pomp, have summoned a gutsy response.
“When we were relegated last year we were in the slumps, but all of a sudden in 12 months we are on a high now,” Seir Keiran’s Adrian Hynes admits.
“We are after winning a County Final, getting to a Leinster Final too. That is after bringing a lot of pride back around the parish, everyone is on a buzz at the moment. We can't wait for Saturday.
“We are delighted to get to a Leinster Final, it isn't too often that it happens. Clareen has never been in a Leinster Final so we are looking forward to it.”
Seir Kieran’s tradition counts according to Hynes, who is relishing the 2019 adventure. “We have won a lot of County Finals down through the years with brilliant hurlers like the Dooleys, Kevin Kinahan,” Hynes adds.
“We had a brilliant bunch of players, they were great inter-county hurlers. Clareen was always a great club to produce good inter-county hurlers. It is great to try follow in the footsteps, to get to a big stage, to try to win a Leinster Final.”
Hynes, though, stresses that growing up Seir Kieran’s teams competed strongly at underage level in Offaly. “We were limited enough with numbers, but when I was young we had our own Clareen team, we won a lot of B County Finals,” Hynes recalls.
“They were very big back then. We were always steady when I was growing up, we won an Under 21 A in 2008, that was a big stepping stone for the club. The group of hurlers that are there now have been all really hurling together since 2008. We all know each other.
“The structure was changed, we had a Senior B and an Intermediate Championship in Offaly this year. We were unfortunate to be relegated down to Senior B. We won the Senior B and to be back up Senior A for next year was our main goal.”
The Seir Kieran’s panel is sprinkled with competent performers and Hynes believes the confidence and momentum gained recently will be hugely beneficial.
“We are an experienced team, we have Joe Bergin, Stephen Hynes, Donal Coughlans, who are all 32 or 33 now. You still have a couple of years left in them, we are all experienced now hurling for such a long time. Definitely there is a couple of years left in us especially going back to Senior A.
“We aren't used to this, training at this time of the year, but it will bring us great confidence going into next year whatever happens on Saturday.”