The Waterford side eased to victory when the sides clashed in the Dr Harty Cup decider with the Tipperary outfit failing to produce their early-season form. Champions DLS, under the tutelage of coaches Derek McGrath and Dermot Dooley, were most impressive and their management of Tipperary dangermen David Butler, John O’Neill, Ciaran Shelley and Kieran Morris proved instrumental in deciding the outcome.
The introduction of a backdoor system afforded Thurles a chance of redemption and they showed glimpses of their potential when defeating Kilkenny CBS in the quarter-final with Butler, O’Neill and Morris impressive in the 0-22 to 0-10 victory.
They then displayed tremendous resilience in holding off a highly rated Dublin Colleges side in the semis to win by two.
The opportunity to make amends will drive Thurles this afternoon. School Principal Martin Quirke admitted after the semi-final win that while he didn’t ever mind losing, to have lost the Harty final and not play well was very disappointing.
“We have a very good team, and hopefully on this occasion they will take this chance to redeem themselves,” he added.
DLS report no injuries and start the team that crushed Gort CS last time out and McGrath is expecting a backlash from the CBS men.
“It’s not often you get the chance to play the same opposition in a second final in one year. Dermot and I had watched Thurles in two games in the Harty Cup and knew they were a very good side.
“Since [the final] they have proved just how good a team they are and it’s unlikely they will be as poor against us a second time. When we set out at the start of the year, our primary objective was to retain our Harty Cup title. With six of last year’s side available we had every chance and as we progressed the confidence grew. The Harty Cup is always the big one for Munster teams. Anything after that is a bonus. But once your win your first All-Ireland title you want more. We have no intention of giving up the Croke Cup.
“No two games are alike, and we are expecting Thurles to come at us all guns blazing. They have the players to cause us problems, but we coped with them before and I see no reason why we cannot do so again. This group of DLS players has already written their own piece of history for the school.”
“Today it’s our intention to write another chapter.”