They may have reaped the benefit of association with a spectacular summer of hurling but Bord Gais Energy have one final card to play with the final this weekend of the U21 Championship at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Cork and Tipperary go head to head in a repeat of the Munster Final, and both will be hoping for the same springboard impact that Limerick gained from winning the title in 2015 and 2017.
These two teams, despite being among the very elite of the sport have further back to go since their last wins at this level. Tipperary last lifted the trophy in 2010 while Cork go back further yet to 1998.
This is the tenth year of Bord Gais Energy’s sponsorship at this level. A tender aged Joe Canning was their first ambassador back in 2009 and there is a strong roll call of players who have progressed to Senior glory from these ranks.
Cork were convincing winners when the two counties met in July in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, registering a 13-point win over their neighbours as they lifted their first Munster title in 11 years. Despite the hard defeat, Tipperary bounced back impressively in their All-Ireland Semi-Final against a strong Galway outfit to set up this weekend’s pairing which becomes the latest in a long line of encounters between these two close rivals.
“I want to thank Bord Gáis Energy for their ongoing sponsorship of this competition,” said GAA President John Horan at yesterday’s media day.
“This is their tenth as sponsor and over the last decade, they’ve done so much to promote the game of hurling and its players to fans across the country. I look forward to seeing what they have in store at the final.”
“It’s a testament to the unpredictability of this competition that this Sunday’s Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Championship Final signals the first-ever meeting of two counties from the same province in a Final,” added Mark Prentice, Managing Director (Interim) at the company.
“It’s a particularly interesting pairing given both teams have already met this year and I’m sure that will only add to the anticipation ahead of what always proves to be a fantastic occasion in the hurling season.”
“I’d like to thank both captains, Shane and Colin for joining us for today’s preview event along with their respective managers, Denis and Liam. We appreciate it’s a busy week for both camps as they prepare for Sunday and on that note, I would like to extend my best wishes to all four, their respective teams and all of the traveling supporters from both counties.”