Ulster Council PRO Michael Hasson had hoped to celebrate a sporting double at the weekend, but was forced to settle for just one ‘leg’ of it.
Businessman Hasson was keeping his fingers crossed that the Rasharkin side, in which three of his sons lined out, would overcome Tyrone champions Naomh Colmcille in the provincial junior club hurling championship final at Casement Park to complement Ulster’s fine win over Leinster in the inter-provincial football championship semi-final on Saturday.
Naomh Colmcile, with eight members of the extended — and hugely talented — O’Neill family on board came up trumps, winning by 4-10 to 2-14. Fittingly, it was Paul O’Neill who fired in the late goal that saw Naomh Colmcille transform a one-point deficit into a two-point winning margin.
And it was the redoubtable Michael himself, whose son Michael junior was outstanding for the losers, who presented the trophy to the winners!
The popular Ulster official can look forward with relish to Ulster’s meeting with Munster in the inter-provincial football final in London on Sunday week.
Munster manager Ger O’Sullivan, indeed, has already hailed his side’s resilience following their 1-13 to 1-10 victory over Connacht in Saturday’s second semi-final.
Even though the Munster side did not contain one player that started for Kerry in last month’s All-Ireland final win over Cork, they still proved too strong for the westerners.
Ironically, it was Cork pair Donnacha O’Connor (0-6) and Colm O’Neill (0-3) who did most to shoot down Connacht with the Munster goal coming from Limerick’s Pa Ranahan while Sligo ace David Kelly hit 1-4 for the losers.
O’Sullivan said: “We won it last year for the first time since 1999 and now we’re back in the final against Ulster in London. When you think that the last time we won it before that was in 1982, it proves that there are not many Munster players going round with inter-pro medals in their pockets.
“Now we face a huge challenge against Ulster, but we’re looking forward to it.”