OVER the past five years they have watched neighbours either side of the Cork-Limerick border rise to senior stardom.
As they plied away in the junior ranks, the small South Limerick club of Effin observed Bruree and Kilmallock carry off the honours in their own county and across the border Newtownshandrum were a dominant force as well. But on Sunday afternoon in the Gaelic Grounds, Effincompleted a staggering transformation of their own as they claimed theLimerick IHC title against Ballybrown by 1-9 to 1-8, a mere 12 months after they had lifted their first Limerick JHC crown.
Last October they were still in the junior ranks yet less than a year later, the citizens of their parish wereyesterday giddy with celebration as they embraced their new senior status.
“It’s incredible really,” reflectedmanager Peter Finn, a native of Bruree. “I was in charge of the Kilmallocksenior team for a couple of years and people said I was mad in 2009 to be going to a junior club. But Effin are an inspiration to any small club. When you’ve a proper committee in place and a brilliant group of players who work extremely hard, you can achieve great things.
“After winning the junior last year, we said we’d try to keep it going this year in intermediate, and we kept that momentum. Sunday was the 15th Limerick championship game in a row that we won. To be even thinking about playing senior hurling in Limerick is Roy of the Rovers stuff.”
The scoring hero on Sunday was Damien Moloney, a Limerickintermediate panellist in recent seasons, who shot the winning point in the 61st minute to put Effin ahead for the only time in the game. And the Quaid name, synonymous with the club through the exploits of the late legendary Limerick goalkeeper Tommy, surfaced again with his sons Nicky and Tommy starring at centre-back and full-forward respectively.
“They’re great players, equally comfortable playing in goal and playing outfield ,” says Finn. “Nicky was a key man for us at centre-back while Tommy, who is going for a Cork senior medal with CIT next week as well, scored 1-6 from full-forward. It’s fantastic for them, their father gave great service when he moved from Feohanagh-Castlemahon and played for Effin. Now his sons are doing it.”
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