Lets hope Davitt’s get the day they deserve as the champions come to town.

By John McIlwaine

We are all hoping that storm Ciara holds off for a few hours yet and that Davitt’s get the day they deserve for the opening of their brilliant new grounds tomorrow at 1-30. We don’t know of course how strong a team Tipperary will take with them to Davitt Park but we know they will be formidable no matter what fifteen the men in blue and gold field. Antrim will be pushed to the limit to stay with them but that is exactly what Darren Gleeson and his backroom team want. Regardless of tomorrow’s outcome being prepared for next weekend’s clash with Offaly is what really matters.

Liam Sheedy and his backroom team celebrate on the steps of Croke Park last August after their team’s win over Kilkenny. Pic by John McIlwaine

The opening two games have been less than impressive. Not the effort it has to be said, but the opposition haven’t presented the type of challenge that we had hoped for, though it has to be said playing conditions played a big part both days. Tomorrow and next weekend the games will be played ‘on top of the ground’ which is what we want to see. Davitt Park is in great condition and hopefully it will see both teams put on a show.

I would expect Antrim to start with a team along the lines of the ones who played against Mayo and Wicklow, but expect to see substitutes introduced at regular intervals. There are a lot of players who have worked really hard over the past few months and they deserve to see some action. We don’t know what team Liam Sheedy will have with him but hopefully there will be good sprinkling of superstars on show. They have lost their opening two games in the league but they could easily have come on top on each occasion and the hurling played in their defeats to Limerick and Cork has been right out of the top drawer.  They are a team of stars who last year lit up Croke Park on the biggest day of the year.

The boys in blue and gold celebrate their All Ireland sucees.

Lest hope the weather is kind to all those who have bought tickets for the big event. The game won’t be the most important thing tomorrow. This is a day for the clubmen of Davitt’s. Men like chairman Tommy Shaw and his hard working committee and the men they followed over the years at this great club. They have a nomadic existence, playing in many different grounds throughout the city but they now have a ground that is the envy of every club in the county and one they can feel rightly proud of.

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