Castletown seeking third win on the trot
CASTLETOWN WILL be aiming for a three-in-a-row of victories against Wexford opponents when they meet Faythe Harriers in Sunday's semi-final in Nowlan Park, Kilkenny.
Now trained by former Offaly sharpshooter Paddy Kirwan, the midlanders beat Oulart-The Ballagh by 1-8 to 0-10 in Bellefield four years ago following a drawn game in Rathdowney (0-17 to 1-14).
And two years later they ended St. Martin's interest at the semi-final stage in Nowlan Park, winning by 1-14 to 1-9.
Anyone doubting Castletown's pedigree should bear in mind the fact that they overcame this year's finalists, Birr, by 2-10 to 1-8 in the club championship last season.
And they are determined to get another crack at the Offaly outfit because they were beaten by them in their two final appearances - by 0-11 to 0-5 in 1997 and by 1-16 to 0-11 two years ago. Incidentally, Castletown saw off Kiltegan of Wicklow - who were trained by Micheal Furlong from Ballycanew - in the quarter-final by 2-12 to 0-5.
This is Faythe Harriers' first Leinster club campaign since their debut in the competition in 1981. After beating St. Vincent's (Dublin) by 1-16 to 0-12 and St. Rynagh's (Offaly) by 3-9 to 2-7, they lost the final to James Stephens (Kilkenny) on a 0-13 to 1-9 scoreline.
Sunday's game will be the 19th between Wexford and Laois sides since the inception of the club championship in 1971. The record so far is ten Wexford wins, two draws and six Laois wins, with the full details as follows Rathnure 1-9, Camross 1-5.
1979 Buffers Alley 1-14, Portlaoise 1-9.
1983 Buffers Alley 5-11, Clonad 0-11.
1986 Rathnure 3-8, Portlaoise 1-13 (final).
1990 Buffers Alley 1-12, Portlaoise 1-4.
1992 Oulart-The Ballagh 1-12, Camross 0-5.
1995 Camross 2-6, Rathnure 0-10.
1997 Rathnure 1-13, Portlaoise 1-6 (final).
1999 Castletown 1-14, St. Martin's 1-9.