Brendan Maher has revealed his attempts to retrieve the broken hurley with which he famously scored a point in the All-Ireland Club SHC semi-final last January have been thwarted by the lockdown.
The Tipperary star scored 10 points for Borris-Ileigh as they surprised St Thomas’ in the LIT Gaelic Grounds, the last of them from play done so with a hurley he had fractured moments previously when converting a free.
It was an outrageous score that put Borris-Ileigh out of touch but as he was given a replacement, he had done away with the split piece of ash. When he later sought to retrieve the broken piece, it had disappeared.
“After I scored the point, I got a bit carried away with myself," he told the GPA's The Player's Voice podcast. "I just threw the hurley over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I said, ‘God, I’d love to get that hurley’. At the time I was thinking I might be able to fix it.
“We couldn’t find it, no sign of it. A few of the lads searched for it, no sign of it. A couple of weeks passed and even some of the lads got onto the Gaelic Grounds to see if the groundsman wouldn’t mind having a look again. They were mad to get it, just to have it. I had given up on it.
“Towards the end of February, I got a letter from a young fella from Gort. He said he was 12 years of age, was at the game, and ‘I actually have your hurley’. He said that when the final whistle blew one of the St Thomas’ lads hit the ball in frustration out towards the open stand. He said, ‘I ran to get the ball and I spotted your hurley up in the open stand so I picked it up and took it home’.
“I was there thinking, ‘How am I going to ask him for it back?’ I wrote a letter back explaining I was delighted that he found it because we had been looking for it and I said I would send on a hurley and a few signed bits. I left my number and said, ‘If you want to give me a call, I’ll meet you with the stuff’.
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“The letter was sent and his mam rang me and she was all apologies. She said, ‘Oh my God, I never realised that you’d want the hurley back’. So she offered to give it back. I said, ‘If he wants to hold onto it, he can hold onto it but I obviously would like to have it back’.
“We were arranging to meet but then this lockdown happened so we haven’t actually met. I’ll hopefully be able to get it back at some stage during the summer.”