LEINSTER manager Joe Dooley and Rory Hanniffy display the Leinster number five jersey during a press conference to launch this Sunday’s (February 17th) M Donnelly Inter-provincial Hurling semi-final between Leinster and Connacht at 2pm in O’Connor Park, Tullamore.
Rory, coincidentally, is the holder of five Inter-provincial medals, won in 2003, ’06, ’08, ’09 and 2012. He is one of three Offaly players included in the 26-player panel for Sunday’s contest. Shane Dooley and Joe Bergin are the others. David Kenny is unavailable due to injury.
The four all figured in last year’s 2-19 to 1-15 Inter-provincial Final victory over Connacht at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny which was the province’s 27th triumph in the series.
Joe, who didn’t win an Inter-provincial medal as a player, is hoping to guide Leinster to back-to-back titles and he is looking forward to the game in O’Connor Park on Sunday.
“I’m delighted to be involved and I have John Conran (Wexford) and Derek Lyng (Kilkenny) with me and they’re both very honest and fair so I have a good back up team.
“Even locally you have Shane, Rory Hanniffy and Joe Bergin, they’ll all either be playing or they’re going to get game time and it’s a great honour to represent your province.
“I never won a Leinster medal as a player but it was nice to win one as a manager last year.
“I can remember back, Paddy Molloy played for Leinster and Barney Moylan and all those guys.
“It was a huge, huge honour and it still is and when guys retire the number of Railway Cup medals they won is always on their list of achievements. It’s not a Mickey Mouse competition.”
1998 All Star Joe added,
“It was down in Kilkenny last year and with so many Kilkenny lads involved it was good for them last year but it’s nice to have it in Tullamore for the Offaly people and I hope they come out to support it and bring along the kids.
“You have the likes of Tommy Walsh and JJ Delaney and Jackie Tyrrell and Joe Canning and Damien Hayes and all these guys. They’re the best hurlers in Ireland at the moment and they’re on our door step. Anyone who has an interest in hurling should come along to it.”
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