Kelly to take on poc fada challenge

Tipperary talisman Eoin Kelly has been confirmed as one of the 12 competitors for next week's 2006 M Donnelly All-Ireland Poc Fada final.

Tipperary talisman Eoin Kelly has been confirmed as one of the 12 competitors for next week's 2006 M Donnelly All-Ireland Poc Fada final.

The event, which is held over the traditional 5km-long course on the Cooley mountains in Louth, will take place on Saturday, August 5.

The 24-year-old Kelly, who is the current top scorer in the Guinness All-Ireland senior hurling championship with 3-38, will be challenging for the Corn Cuailnge for the first time.

As well as the qualifiers from the provincial competitions, Kelly and four modern day goalkeeping greats will be bidding for Poc Fada glory.

Former Limerick stopper Albert Shanahan, who won the title last year and back in 2001, will return along with Clare legend Davy Fitzgerald.

The 34-year-old Fitzgerald, who made his 59th championship appearance for the Banner men last weekend, won the Poc Fada in both 1999 and 2002.

Wexford 'keeper Damien Fitzhenry will be hoping for his first win over the picturesque Cooley course, with Tipperary's Brendan Cummins - the current course record holder with 48 pucks - also bidding to add to his 2004 victory.

Fitzhenry was pipped for the title by Shanahan twelve months ago. The pair went around the course in 58 pucks each, but Shanahan was adjudged to be the winner as his last puck went further over the finish line than his Wexford counterpart's.

The Comortas Beirte (Pairs Competition) will also be up for grabs, while Clare's Denise Lynch, who won last year's Camogie Poc Fada in 30 pucks, will be back to defend her crown.

2006 M DONNELLY ALL-IRELAND POC FADA FINALS:

HURLING -

Shane O'Connor (Offaly)

Mark Ryan (Carlow)

Graham Clarke (Down)

Padraig O Mainain (Derry)

Bernard Gaffney (Clare)

Adrian Power (Waterford)

Keith Carr (Galway)

Albert Shanahan (Limerick)

David Fitzgerald (Clare)

Brendan Cummins (Tipperary)

Damien Fitzhenry (Wexford)

Eoin Kelly (Tipperary)

CAMOGIE -

Mary Henry (Westmeath)

Sinead O'Neill (Tyrone)

Patricia Jackman (Waterford)

Sharon Finneran (Roscommon)

Mariee O'Dwyer (London)

Denise Lynch (Clare)

Collette McSorley (Armagh)

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