All-Ireland semi-final for Ballygiblin on Sunday

MUNSTER CHAMPIONS - Ballygiblin, who were crowned AIB Munster Club JAH champions after beating near neighbours Skeheenarinky 2-14 to 1-9 in Mallow on Sunday, January 9th. (Picture: P O’Dwyer)

By Paddy Ryan

Ballygiblin junior A hurlers play their 11th championship game of the season this Sunday in Abbottstown (likely to be change of venue) when they face Fullen Gaels (Manchester). This encounter is an unknown venture for Ballygiblin, who are now playing in their first All-Ireland series game.

Fullen Gaels have won the British championship and a number of titles and are seeking their first All-Ireland success. They lost out to Meelin in 2010 and Charleville in 2011 and have reached two All-Ireland finals.

In 2013, they were beaten by Thomastown in the final by 2-17 to 2-14. Two years later they were back in another All-Ireland final when Bennetsbridge came out on top 3-19 to 1-8.

Formed in 2005, the club’s name is derived from Fr. Emmet Fullen of Derry, who was a founding member of St Laurance’s GFC, previous Lancashire Board chairman and Lancashire player.


The club crest represents symbols of Manchester GAA, as well as those of Fr Fullen. The top left hand side shows the Fellen family crest, while the top right is the shamrock, representing the Irish heritage of the club. These are on amber and black backgrounds, the club colours.

At the bottom of the crest, the bee represents the working bee of Manchester. A symbol of Manchester from the industrial revolution, when the city was known as the hive of activity with hard working citizens. The ship is an iconic symbol, representing the Manchester Ship Canal.

Two weeks ago they were involved a tough All-Ireland quarter-final with Camloch (Armagh) in Birmingham. The game finished level, 2-10 apiece and went to extra time. They were again deadlocked in extra time, 2-17 apiece. Fullen Gaels came out on top following penalties.


Ballygiblin have a full bill of health facing into this semi-final. Mark Keane did not return to Australia and his presence, along with the injured Darragh Flynn who did not start the Munster final, will be an added boost to the Mitchelstown side.

Ballygiblin have finished well in nearly all their championship games this season. They drew with Fermoy and drew with Kilshannig in the divisional quarter-final, before coming out on top in extra time. Their toughest game was in the county final against Dromtarriffe.

They also had some luck on their side as well throughout the season. In the Avondhu championship they avoided three key clubs, namely Ballyhooly, Harbour Rovers and Dromina. They had a bye in the county quarter-final and also a bye in the Munster quarter-final.

Sunday’s game is listed for 1.30pm in Abbottstown, Co Dublin. However, due to lack of capacity the game is likely to be transferred to another venue in the Dublin area.