Croker trip a dream come true for Loughgiel's Scullion

Croker trip a dream come true for Loughgiel's Scullion

Joey Scullion was heralded as Ulster's top club hurler last week after the Loughgiel Shamrocks forward picked up the AIB Provincial Club Hurler of the Year award for 2011 at an awards ceremony in Dublin.

The 26-year-old impressed in the Antrim club's march to their sixth provincial crown, and was honoured with the man-of-the-match award in their Ulster final win over Ballycran.

Scullion said that his award is down to the work of the rest of the panel.

"There is no individual that can take this team as far in the Championship to an All-Ireland final," he said.

"There is no doubt that we have some exceptional individuals like Liam Watson and Damien Quinn in goals, and Johnny Campbell and Martin Scullion, but ultimately it is a team effort that takes you this far.

"It is a privilege to be a part of this team, because we have come a long way. I have been a part of the team for almost 10 years now - the senior set-up.

"I have grown up with these fellas and to finally play at Croke Park with them contesting an All-Ireland final is what you dream of."

Scullion says Loughgiel's AIB All-Ireland final day appearance this Saturday, when they take on Offaly's Coolderry, is reward not just for the players efforts - but for those of the management and supporters also.

"It has been an amazing journey not only for the players, but for the supporters as well. We have all been there together through the highs and lows," he added.

"After a lean spell of almost 20 years to get some success is not just reward for the players, but the efforts of all concerned with the club.

"I hope that getting to the All-Ireland final we can give a good account of ourselves and get over the line and that it will be a just reward for all the hard work that has been put in over the years."

Loughgiel's only All-Ireland final win in 1983 has been recalled on countless occasions over the years. The VHS copy and later DVD copy of the drawn game and replay has been well worn over the years, and although for Scullion it came two years before his birth, it is an achievement he is hugely aware of.

"I might as well have been at the match! It was two years before I was born, but the legend lives on, " he explained.

"That team is up on a pedestal for all of us to see and you can't doubt the achievement of winning an All-Ireland final back in 1983 - it was something else.

"Our club went through a lean spell for the next 30 years so we are hoping with a couple of county titles in-a-row, that this opportunity will bring on the youth within the parish as well to strive towards greater achievements also.

"A number of us have been there for a lot of years and it helps whenever the younger lads are coming in, and it gives it more emphasis and livens things up a bit in the squad."

Scullion added: "Ultimately whether you are the eldest man on the panel or you are the youngest everyone gets on.

"There is a good bond there and a good connection and it tells on the field that everyone is fighting for the one cause.

"Our strength all year is that the team is picked on merit, no matter what your name is or who you are or where you are from.

"The best players at any given time are going out on the field and if you are not performing there will be someone else ready to step in and do the job for you."

More in this Section

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

Day one of the US Open: Defending champion Djokovic and Federer in actionDay one of the US Open: Defending champion Djokovic and Federer in action

Guardiola: Manchester City face amazing challenge to retain Premier League titleGuardiola: Manchester City face amazing challenge to retain Premier League title

Rory McIlroy claims FedEx Cup jackpot by winning revamped Tour ChampionshipRory McIlroy claims FedEx Cup jackpot by winning revamped Tour Championship


Lifestyle

In August 1969, headlines were dominated by Northern Ireland and the beginnings of what was to become known as “the Troubles”.August 26, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Hundreds of grey seals, the ‘people of the sea’, haul out on Great Blasket’s Trá Bán.Blasket Island seals have cousins in Namibia

More From The Irish Examiner