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Players Meet in Parnell Park ahead of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Semi Finals

19.08.09

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 Ambassadors - Joe Canning, captain of Galway, Richie Hogan and Arron Graffin and Clare captain Ciaran O'DohertyBord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 Ambassadors - Joe Canning, captain of Galway, Richie Hogan and Arron Graffin and Clare captain Ciaran O'Doherty

Bord Gáis Energy ambassadors Joe Canning, who will captain Galway, Richie Hogan and Arron Graffin and Clare captain Ciaran O’Doherty met today in Parnell Park ahead of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland semi finals.

On Saturday (22nd August) Clare will take on Galway in Thurles at 2.30pm and Kilkenny go up against Antrim, with fixture details for that match due to be confirmed by the GAA today.

Kilkenny are looking to qualify for their sixth final this decade and are pitted against an Antrim side who breezed passed Derry in the Ulster final. The Saffrons were not tested in their province but will have to be firing on all cylinders when they come up against the Cats who are the reigning champions.

On the other side of the draw, the Banner created history by winning their first ever U-21 Munster title when they beat a very tough Waterford side in Dungarvan. This experience is sure to stand to them when they meet Galway who will be in action for the first time in the Championship.

Clare’s backline have a major task on their hands to limit any damage that Joe Canning, top scorer for Galway’s senior side in the 2009 GAA Hurling All-Ireland Championship, might do. Clare players Darach Honan, Colin Ryan and Nicky O’Connell all put in outstanding performances in the Munster final and will need to do the same, if not better, for the Banner to qualify for their first ever Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland final.

“Clare and Kilkenny have both been forced to put in superb performances to get to this stage of the Championship, while Antrim have qualified with ease and Galway are yet to contest a game. This makes the semi finals hard to call, but the one certainty is that whoever wins the matches on Saturday will have put in a top performance to reach the final,” commented Ger Cunningham, Sports Sponsorship Manager for Bord Gáis Energy, himself a winner in 1981.

“Bord Gáis Energy is delighted to see such talent developing in this contest and to be associated with players who will become household names in years to come,” he continued, “and I would like to offer all the teams the very best of luck on Saturday.”

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana also extended his best wishes to the four competing counties.

He said: “This year’s Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Hurling Championship has been a fascinating competition to date and we hope that the semi-finals continue in this vein on Saturday. Clare’s Munster success came on the back of a gripping decider clash with Waterford in Fraher Field and that game epitomised everything that is good about this grade and this competition.”

Earlier this summer, GAA Hurling U-21 Championship sponsors Bord Gáis Energy launched a brand new website, www.breakingthrough.ie, to support and raise the profile of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Championship.  A major feature is the ‘Pass it On’ charity video compilation which has been taking GAA fans by storm this summer.

Bord Gáis Energy have been asking the public to put their hurling skills on display by adding a video link to the viral campaign and have pledged to donate €2 to be split equally between Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Temple Street Children’s Hospital for every video clip that is uploaded on the site. This is in addition to an initial €10,000 pot that Bord Gáis Energy has put in place for the charities.

The video sees a sliotar being passed around the country and beyond, starting with Joe Canning in Portumna and on to GAA stars, celebrities and members of the public in a variety of unusual settings. Already, the likes of Shane Horgan, Peter Stringer and soccer star Stephen Hunt have crossed codes and put their silky skills on display and the public too have been keeping their hurls close at hand, taking videos at every available opportunity. Full details can be found on www.breakingthrough.ie.

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Championship 2009 Results & Fixtures

Bord Gáis Energy Leinster GAA Hurling U-21 Championship
20th May: Kilkenny (1-21) v Laois (1-10)
27th May: Kildare (1-3) v Dublin (1-10)
10th June: Dublin (1-24) v Wexford (0-8)
  Kilkenny (0-18) v Offaly (0-15)
15th July:   FINAL: Kilkenny (2-20) v Dublin (1-19)
Bord Gáis Energy Munster GAA Hurling U-21 Championship
3rd June: Quarter Final: Cork (0-25) v Tipperary (2-22)
15th July: Semi Final: Clare (4-22) v Limerick (2-13)
  Semi Final: Waterford (3-21) v Tipperary (2-14)
29th July:  FINAL: Waterford (2-12) v Clare (2-17)
Bord Gáis Energy Ulster GAA Hurling U-21 Championship
15th July: Quarter Final: Armagh (3-18) v Monaghan (1-3)
22nd July: Semi Final: Antrim (5-25) v Armagh (1-11)
  Semi Final: Derry (3-15) v Down (3-9)
29th July:   FINAL: Antrim (1-19) v Derry (0-9)
Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-21 All-Ireland Championship

22nd August:  All-Ireland Semi Final:  Kilkenny v Antrim, Details TBC
  All-Ireland Semi Final: Clare v Galway, 2.30pm, Thurles
13th September: All-Ireland Final  
Contacts

Stiofáin MacDháibhéad,
Bord Gáis Energy
Tel: 01 6021116
Mobile: 087 7991206
Email: smacdhai@bordgais.ie
www.bordgaisenergy.ie

Claire Turvey / Kelly Slattery
Pembroke Communications
Tel: 01-6496486

Alan Milton
Communications Manager
Tel: 01-8658614 / 087-9299488