Curran keen to avoid penalty clause as St Enda's target a place in decider
When St Enda's, Glengormley line out against Kilkenny and Leinster champions Tullaroan in tomorrow's All-Ireland club hurling intermediate championship semi-final at Parnell Park, Dublin (1.30pm), goalkeeper Martin Curran is hoping he won't suffer a repetition of the "nerve-wrecking experience" he endured against Tyrone champions Eoghan Ruadh in the recent Ulster final.
On that occasion, the match went to penalties and Curran suddenly found himself in the firing line as Damian Casey and the rest of the Red Hand team's hot-shots stepped up to test his mettle.
But Curran was more than equal to the task and four superb saves proved crucial in taking his side to the provincial title.
Now, just a little under 12 months after St Enda's won their All-Ireland intermediate semi-final football tie against An Spidéal (Galway), the club's hurlers will make a bold bid to reach their All-Ireland decider.
And Curran candidly admits that this time last year jealousy rather than aspirations of glory had infiltrated the hurling squad.
"To be honest there was a lot of jealousy within the hurling panel last year as we watched the footballers prepare for their All-Ireland semi-final, but now it's our turn to try and make it into a final and we will be giving it our best shot," insists Curran.
And he believes that manager 'Sambo' McNaughton will have the side fired up for the biggest match in the club's history.
"Even when we were down by seven points at half-time in the Ulster final, Sambo kept telling us that we were going to win the game," reveals Curran.
"He's unbelievably positive all the time. Sometimes I think he's going to come in and eat the head off everyone but he was calm and said we were going to turn it around. And although it went to penalties which was a nerve-wrecking experience for me, we still managed to come out on top."
While Curran will again have a key role tomorrow, he is one of a number of St Enda's players who can provide the inspiration that could take their side into the All-Ireland decider.
Skipper Cormac Ross leads by splendid example while Ruairi Diamond, Ryan Bogue, John McGoldrick, Joe Maskey and the Donaghy duo Mark and Ruairi are other players who have the composure and self-belief to help ignite their team's challenge for glory.
"We saw what our football side did in winning their All-Ireland semi-final last year and we want to prove we can follow in their footsteps," adds Curran.
"We know we will be getting great support and the best way we can respond to this is by doing the business out there on the park."